2014 NFL Mock Draft Countdown: New Orleans Saints, No. 27

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Dee Ford, LB, Auburn (2)

2014 NFL Mock Draft Countdown: New Orleans Saints, No. 27

Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback James Franklin (1) is taken down by Auburn Tigers defensive end Dee Ford (30) during the fourth quarter of the 2013 SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Joshua Huffman:

The Saints have invtested a lot into their defensive backfield these last couple of seasons. Their investments include Keenan Lewis (2013 free agent), Kenny Vaccaro (2013 first-rounder), Jairus Byrd (2014 free agent) and Champ Bailey (2014 free agent). Despite that, someone like Jason Verrett appears like the perfect schematic fit to start as a nickelback before taking control of the No. 2 cornerback job next to Lewis.

Verrett, along with the top four cornerbacks, are off the board. A Rob Ryan-coordinated defense depends on its pass-rushing effectiveness. Dee Ford and Ryan Shazier are speedy undersized linebackers who would immediately improve the front seven.

Matt Ward:

The Saints spent mega-bucks to beef up their secondary with a monster contract to Jairus Byrd. Now they want to make life easier on that secondary by spending a high pick on their pass rush. They were vastly improved in 2013, but they need to dial up the pressure a bit. The best way to do that is to grab play-maker Dee Ford out of Auburn. He has a knack for getting to the quarterback, and he showed up big in the Senior Bowl. Rob Ryan will love to see this character on his line bringing the heat on guys like Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Josh McCown/Mike Glennon.

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