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2015 NFL mock draft: Dante Fowler to New Orleans Saints at No. 13

In order to make a push for a playoff return under Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints are going to need to be dramatically better on the defensive side of the ball.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In their first season with Rob Ryan calling plays on defense, the New Orleans Saints vaulted all the way to a No. 4 overall ranking in the NFL on that side of the ball, and things were generally looking up. In 2014, however, the unit regressed all the way to No. 31 overall, and the team is in need of more talent on that side of the ball if they're going to make more postseason pushes with Drew Brees under center.

Kevin Skiver of Canal Street Chronicles is picking for the Saints in our 2015 NFL mock draft, and it just so happens that one of the most talented defensive prospects available in this year's class is falling right into his lap with the No. 13 overall pick.

13. Saints: Dante Fowler, DE, Florida

Skiver: With the recent trade for Dannell Ellerbe and the signing of Brandon Browner, the Saints no longer need to reach for a linebacker or cornerback with their No. 13 pick. Instead, they can address their woeful pressure in the 2014 campaign after suffering a steep drop-off from Cam Jordan and Junior Galette, especially the former.

Fowler’s explosive first step and speed out of the two and three point stance make him a strong candidate for Rob Ryan’s multiple front 3-4 defense. Despite not putting up stunning numbers at UF, Fowler was constantly disruptive, and his ceiling is as high as anyone in the draft on the defensive side of the ball.

Dan Kadar, Choosing Fowler at this point in the draft would be simple. Add New Orleans’ severe need to the mix and this could be one of the best choices in this entire mock draft process. Fowler is an explosive, versatile weapon that the Saints just don’t have up front on defense. He can do a number of things really well and can be kept on the field for three downs.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 6. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
  • 13. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State
  • 15. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
  • 17. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
  • 19. Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

All picks from this mock draft

Saints picks

  • 1-13: Dante Fowler, DE, Florida
  • 2-44: (coming April 10)

Two more picks are coming this week! The first of those, publishing at noon ET, comes to us via The Phinsider, making the No. 14 overall pick for the Miami Dolphins.