Sixth round — No. 178 overall
First Mock Draft selection: WR Pierre Garcon, Mount Union.
Why?: The Saints' running game was one of the worst in the NFL. Getting Deuce McAllister back should make it a little better. So would taking a center in this draft. But the Saints need some interior help and Thomas is a player that Scout.com analyst Tom Marino considers the most underrated at the guard position in this draft.
Here's what Marino had to say about him:
"The big question is whether he's going to be big enough? He has good upper body strength, but his feet often stalled on contact in-line. Tried to muscle people rather than hitting up and working around the defender. A tough, nasty individual who had an edge about him. In pass protection he was effectively able to anchor once he locked on with his hands. Base has a tendency to get too wide, and I didn't like the way his toes turned out."
Marino considers him a solid late-round pick. So do I. And you should keep in mind that Thomas didn't start playing organized football until late in his high school career, so he still has some developing to do. At this stage in the draft, a player with his potential is worth the pick.
Alternate theory: The Saints would be smart to take the best available player on the board here. If the Saints haven't addressed center by this point, Texas A&M's Cody Wallace would be a solid, developmental pick.
And don't forget to stop by on Tuesday for my fifth-round selection.
Matthew Postins is the publisher of saintsinsider.com. He is an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association.