The New Orleans Saints traded up in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft for defensive end Marcus Davenport at pick No. 14, a move that took many analysts by surprise but showed again how aggressive the team's front office is. Davenport, out of the University of Texas-San Antonio, was seen as a bookend to the dominant Cameron Jordan, and a safety net for defensive end Alex Okafor, who was coming off of an Achilles injury suffered during the 2017 season. Davenport went on to play 13 games for the Saints in 2018 and put up a strong 4.5 sacks.
Next, the Saints selected Central Florida wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith at pick No. 91. With the injury of wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. at the beginning of the season, Smith stepped into a large role for the Saints. In 15 games, Smith came up with 28 receptions for 427 yards and five touchdowns. Smith's first touchdown came in the "Monday Night Football" game against the Washington Redskins, when quarterback Drew Brees found Smith on a 62-yard touchdown pass to secure the NFL's all-time passing yardage record.
The Saints selected tackle Rick Leonard (127), safety Natrell Jamerson (164), cornerback Kamrin Moore (189), running back Boston Scott (201), and center Will Clapp (245) with their remaining selections.
Scott and Clapp were the only two to come out of training camp with a role in New Orleans. Scott played with the Saints practice squad before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 11. Clapp also played on the practice squad, but saw action in final three games of 2018.
Davenport, Smith and Clapp will look to expand their roles with the Saints as they head into their third NFL season.
Draft held April 26, 2018 - April 28, 2018
- Marcus Davenport, DE (14), University of Texas-San Antonio (Choice acquired from Green Bay for No. 27 and No. 147 in 2018 and 2019 first round pick)
- (No. 59) Traded to San Francisco
- Tre'Quan Smith, WR (91), Central Florida
- Rick Leonard, T (127), Florida State
- a. (No. 147) Traded to Green Bay
b. Natrell Jamerson, DB (164), Wisconsin
- a. Kamrin Moore, DB (189), Boston College (Choice acquired from Arizona in 2017 in exchange for RB Adrian Peterson.)
b. Boston Scott, RB (201), LA Tech
- Will Clapp, G/C (245), LSU