A strong Senior Bowl performance and a decent showing at the NFL Scouting Combine helped Nick Saldiveri raise his draft stock and probably put himself on more teams’ radars.
What Team Drafted Nick Saldiveri?
Nick Saldiveri was drafted by New Orleans in the fourth round with the 103rd overall pick.
Nick Saldiveri Draft Profile
Saldiveri was a three-year starter at Old Dominion and played multiple positions on the offensive line, making 10 starts at right tackle and one at right guard during the 2022 campaign. He didn’t allow a sack all season but did allow 16 QB hurries — nearly 1.5 a game. He earned second-team All-Sun Belt honors and even showcased his ability to play center in Mobile:
Proving he can be successful snapping the ball has also made him a more attractive prospect.
While the Monarchs’ run game wasn’t ideal last season and ranked second to last in the Sun Belt with 92.5 yards per game, Saldiveri helped RB Blake Watson set the single-game rushing record with 259 yards and three touchdowns against Coastal Carolina.
At the combine, Saldiveri’s athleticism stood out as he finished in the top 10 among linemen in the 20-yard shuttle, broad jump, and the vertical. He was graded the 25th best offensive lineman and the seventh best guard by NFL.com, both of which were the top grades for a Group of Five lineman.
Along with his athleticism, Saldiveri has good size at 6-foot-6, 318 pounds. For a guy his size, Saldiveri has excellent footwork, which typically allows him to get, and remain, in great position. He moves laterally extremely well and is able to flush defenders out of the play with the help of that movement.
Saldiveri possesses great balance, body control, and technique:
And most importantly, he shows consistency with each rep.
Although Saldiveri doesn’t have the longest arms (33-1/4”), he keeps a good distance and isn’t often bothered by defenders who try to bench press him off a block. This can lead to him getting driven back at times, but he responds well. This is probably a key reason he’ll stick to being an interior lineman in the NFL.
He can set his block well with his hands and doesn’t struggle with leverage despite his height. On tape, Saldiveri looks like he can get to the second level with ease and often puts himself in position to pick up blocks downfield. However, at times he doesn’t engage with defenders as much as he probably should.
Saldiveri is a well-balanced OL and should immediately become a viable option for an NFL squad. He may not be a starter right away, but in time could be a guy that has a long NFL career based on his IQ, versatility, and talent.
There are a number of teams that could use depth across the offensive line, but a team like the 49ers or the Bills could use Saldiveri’s services almost immediately. We saw how this was a weakness for these teams in their playoff losses. With the draft just over a month away, Saldiveri is projected to be a late day 3 selection.
The Waxhaw, North Carolina, product has potential, and plenty of tools that he can build on at the next level.