2023 mock NFL Draft 2.0: Fallout from free agency wave and NFL Combine

The 2022 NFL Draft logo Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The 2022 NFL Draft logo Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
30 of 35
Nolan Smith, Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nolan Smith (4) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

player. 814. . EDGE. Bulldogs . Nolan Smith. 29

On the clock: Pick No. 29: New Orleans Saints – Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Mock Draft 1.0 – Anthony Richardson, Quarterback, Florida

Marcus Davenport left in free agency and Cameron Jordan is a veteran at the end of his career, so pass-rusher is the foremost need for the New Orleans Saints entering the draft.

Nolan Smith is a bit of a wild card as far as where he could go, but he definitely could go earlier than this. The Saints would happily run to the podium to submit this selection. Smith is a freak athlete who made history at the NFL Combine.

Smith is a raw prospect that needs help developing his pass-rushing skills, but he can take the field immediately as a run defender that plays with strength and violence while refining his athletic prowess to make a splash on third downs later. It’s a matter of technique more than ability for Smith.

Smith will also need to add some weight to his frame as he’s a bit small at 238 pounds to play at that his entire career, but he has the time to do that in his rookie season. He’s still a freakish-but-raw prospect that a team will take a shot on.