New Orleans Saints 7-round Mock Draft: Surprise selection has Derek Carr looking over his shoulder

Saints make some noise in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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Saints make a surprise pick in the second round for a player projected to go higher

Michael Penix Jr. . . . Michael Penix Jr. . 45. player. Michael Penix Jr. . . QB, Washington. 15

The Saints make the surprise selection of the draft by taking 2023 Hesiman Trophy runner up Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 45 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

New Orleans Saints select Michael Penix Jr. in the 2024 NFL Mock Draft
NFL Combine - Michael Penix Jr / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The bigger surprise is that Penix Jr. will still be sitting there in the middle of the second round for Saints GM Mickey Loomis to scoop up.  Although quarterback is not a desperate need for the Saints, it will be an interesting selection and one that will light a fire under Carr who will instantly have to look over his shoulder.

As for Penix Jr., the former Washington quarterback has impressive arm talent and led the FBS with 4,903 passing yards and was third in the country in passing TDs with 36.  A top 6 QB in the 2024 NFL Draft, Penix will slide a bit due to concerns about his injury history as he has torn his ACL twice.  That still doesn’t take away from his impressive college career at Washington and he’ll have a familiar teammate in Fautanu as both played at Washington.

As for Carr, the veteran quarterback will have a chip on his shoulder due to the move, but the Saints get their potential replacement as Carr is expected to be a free agent in 2026 as he just has two years left on his current restructured four-year, $150 million deal.  He is also entering the 2024 NFL season at 33 years old.

. DT, LSU. 150. 15. . player. Jordan Jefferson. . Jordan Jefferson. Jordan Jefferson

This former LSU star will stay in the Bayou as the Saints turn to the defensive side of the ball with the No. 150 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Standing at 6-foot-3, 313 pounds, Jordan Jefferson has a nice combination of size, power and footwork that allows him to sniff out the run and be a disruptor in the middle of the defensive line.  He does need some time to develop, but he can eventually grow into a rotational role at defensive tackle for the Saints.

Jefferson appeared in 13 games for LSU in his final season with the Tigers.  He finished with 36 tackles (7.0 for a loss) and 2.5 sacks.  With his thick frame, he has a spin move that makes him difficult to block, but again will need some time to develop his mechanics to be a consistent force in an NFL defense.