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SB Nation Writers Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick #14

No. 14


Pick by Canal Street Chronicles

Clay Matthews
Outside linebacker

Southern California

The picks just keep rolling here on the mock. Saintsational is the aptly named head coach over at Canal Street Chronicles.

Defense is the number one priority for the Saints this off-season and they've already done a lot to help improve it via free agency. The Saints have signed cornerback Jabari Greer as well as safeties Darren Sharper and Pierson Prioleau. Having addressed the improvement of the defensive backfield, this now leaves outside linebacker as the other area of need for the team. Matthews' teammate as USC, Brian Cushing, would have been a more desirable pick but alas he was just taken off the board.

So Clay Matthews it is. Originally viewed as a second round choice, Matthews has quietly crept up the draft board. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is going to bring the blitz a lot this season and the Saints could really use a talented pass rusher at the outside linebacker spot. Matthews comes from a long line of professional football players and has quite a pedigree. This factor gives him huge upside, even when the spotlight is usually on his USC teammates Cushing and Rey Maualuga instead.

MTD thoughts: At the beginning of the draft process, this pick would have been terrible. Matthews was a second-round player and the Saints needed help in the defensive backfield. Now, this pick is a sound one. If the Saints want to generate a better blitz from outside the tackle box, Matthews can provide it. A daring choice, but a good one.

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