Fifth round — No. 146 overall
DT DeMario Pressley, N.C. State
Second Mock Draft selection: C Steve Justice, Wake Forest.
Why?: Entering this round of the draft, I've address key needs at other defensive positions, plus a key need on offense. So now I'm looking to add a solid player on either end of the football that will address depth and, hopefully, a need. Pressley, to me, is a great selection at this point in the draft.
I had the chance to talk to Pressley at the combine and I was pretty impressed with his intelligence. His on-field ability isn't bad, either.
|N.C. State DeMario Pressley talks to a Seahawks scout at the Senior Bowl. Most scouts see Pressley as an interior defensive lineman that could play on either side of the center. (Ed Thompson/Scout.com Photo)|
Pressley is talented enough to assume their mantle. Scouts like the fact that he's tough to move and that he's willing to take on double teams. But there are questions, most notably his burst off the snap and his inconsistency. But once you get to the fifth round you're going to encounter players that have question marks. Pressley seems coachable and versatile enough to serve as a backup at both under tackle and nose tackle.
The Saints must address this need because they ranked just No. 13 in the NFL in run defense last year and only sacked the quarterback 33 times. Pressley is talented enough to help the Saints with an inside push 15-20 times per game right off the bat.
Alternate theory: Offensively, think tight end here, even though the Saints haven't met with a tight end this month. Missouri's Martin Rucker would be a great choice for the Saints' passing offense. Notre Dame's John Carlson could be there, too. Another player I like is UTEP tackle Oneil Cousins, who's had a solid offseason and most scouts agree he's better than advertised. He can play both tackle and guard.
Defensively, there an interesting gamble the Saints could take. TCU DE Tommy Blake has resurrected his draft status. There are serious questions about his bout with depression and social anxiety, but there's no doubt he has talent. The few mock drafts that go into the second day have Blake as a fifth-round pick.
Did you miss his previous selections? Access them right here:
And don't forget to stop by on Wednesday for my third-round selection
Matthew Postins is the publisher of saintsinsider.com. He is an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association.