2020 Top 25 & How They Fit in New Orleans (1 Viewer)

HogsNSaints

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1. Joe Burrow, QB LSU

After putting together the best college football season in the sport’s history, becoming a Louisiana icon in the process, Burrow would slide right into to the fold of a team that can afford to ease him into the spotlight. After setting the world on fire in an offense straight from the mind of Sean Payton, there’s no reason to think Burrow would not maintain a remarkable standard in New Orleans. One can dream, but ultimately it’s only a dream. I have a better chance of wearing a Saints uniform next season than Joe Burrow does. Good luck in Cincy, Joe!

2. Chase Young, Edge Ohio State

Outside of having a capable QB, perhaps nothing is more important in professional football than creating pressure on defense. The Saints have been blessed with a master-of-all trades base defensive end in Cameron Jordan since 2011. Young is not safely projectable as a dominant, multi-dimensional end in that same mold, but what he is borderline unmatched at is burning the edge with his twitch, timing and acceleration. This is the skill set we’ve seen compliment Cam, allowing both to dominate both sides of the opposing offensive line. Young fits perfectly. But again like Burrow, it’s only a pipe dream.

3. Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson

Good luck finding a bad fit for a linebacker that can succeed at everything. Finding a comparison for Isaiah Simmons is virtually impossible. People aren’t suppose to look like that, and if they do, they aren’t suppose to run and jump like that. He’s fast enough to beat blockers to the spot, while also having lab-built length and power to disengage when met head on. He possesses the physicality to play downhill and attack in the running game, but where he sets himself apart are his instinct in coverage. He’s one of the best linebacker prospects in years, and he won’t sit for long on draft night.

4. Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

If not for the worrisome medicals, he would rank as my #2 due to the position value coupled with his talent. As for New Orleans, Tua is not a natural fit in the current scheme, but obviously you mold to talent. While the Saints’ west coast system is mostly built around quick diagnosis and delivering the ball on the spot, Tua’s best fit will come in an offense that prioritizes pushing the ball downfield, and utilizing the deep ball accuracy of (IMO) the best touch passer in recent history. If he can stay healthy, a coach like Sean Payton can thrive with him regardless of preference, but I think there are offensive minds in the NFL more proven in utilizing his strengths.

5. Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama

This might be the highest you’ll see Jeudy, but I’m ready to go to bat for him. I have never seen a player able to create as much space with his feet off the snap. He’s able to free himself for an extra yard or two of separation and put defensive backs on stilts with cuts and breaks out of routes. He also has the speed that they don’t catch up. Before the acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders, I would have told you Jeudy was the perfect plug and play slot dynamo to compliment Thomas, unlock Tre’Quan on an island, and push this offense over the top. He fits the scheme, and would dominate out of the slot for this offense.

6. Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State

There’s a reason so many of the Saints defensive backs are Ohio State alumni. Ohio State excels at developing their corners to live on an island and mirror receivers in man coverage. No program in the country has matched the Buckeyes in producing cover corners, and Okudah is probably the most physical of the guys I’ve watched. If drafted to New Orleans, Okudah would in all likelihood become the X shadow after only a little bit of seasoning. As incredible as Lattimore is, the size and strength advantage would allow Okudah to match frame with larger WRs. The Saints would have the best CB duo in the NFL.

7. Derrick Brown, DT Auburn

Brown would be the last player of what I would identify as the “elite” talent within the class. Brown’s ability to dominate against the run and push the pocket as a rusher give him three-down utility and a very safe floor. At 326 pounds, Brown would be the largest man on the Saints defensive line. For all of their talent, both Sheldon Rankins and David Onyemata float around an even 300. Derrick Brown would provide an early down space eater, a capable pusher, and one of the more talented players in a deep rotation of interior talent.

8. Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina

Derrick Brown vs Javon Kinlaw is a fun one. They’re a similar size and usage pattern, while playing similar competition. Brown was a much more dominating presence in the run game, but Kinlaw had the higher pressure rate. To me, Brown looks to have the easier to project translatable talent because no one moved him for two seasons. But Kinlaw is right on his heels. The fit for New Orleans is the same. Strong, larger compliment for the two most talented interior linemen on the roster. Kinlaw is likely a top 15 pick.

9. Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

Herbert has his detractors, but count me as a fan. He played in an easy-read college system and will take some warranted criticism for it, but he’s a guy that can make all of the throws, get the ball out with anticipation, and has shown through the pre-draft process that the conversion to a pro football offense may not be as big a hurdle as it appears. I think he can be a successful rookie, but sitting and learning for a year wouldn’t be the worst idea with Herbert. Down the line, the Saints west coast system would work well with his ability to make anticipatory throws. If he dips, a trade up would make a lot of sense.

10. Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia

Thomas has seen his stock slide within the media after the athletic testing side boosted the hype of other OT prospects, but give me the guy that was a consistent 3 year starter on the field for one of the best offensive lines in the country. With his footwork and hand placement, I feel as though Thomas is easily the safest of the OTs in the class. He’s one of my favorite potential picks for the Saints, with size and mauling ability to play guard early on and eventually start on either side as a tackle.

11. Jedrick Willis, OT Alabama

Even though I’m still a touch higher on Thomas, I’m starting to see the light on Wills. He’s massive, athletic and has an incredible first step off the snap. He certainly has an elite ceiling. His utilization with New Orleans is the same as Thomas. Both could compete for a starting guard position as a rookie, with the idea of eventually moving them outside. Neither has a very good chance of making it to 24, probably Wills even less so than Thomas due to the elite ceiling.

12. CJ Henderson, CB Florida

I can be transparent, I love CJ Henderson. Florida has produced CBs with quality technique for several years, but Henderson is one of the few that’s athletic profile matches his impressive college tape. I think at his floor, he’s a strong #2 corner that can run with the best vertical threats the league has to offer. At his ceiling, he’s a slightly bigger Marshon Lattimore. It’s likely his recent surge pushes him into the top 20, but if available he would make for an incredible pick.

13. Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa

Graded incredibly high in 2019 before blowing up the combine. It’s very easy to love what he’s accomplished over the last year. He has the raw traits to mold into one of the best tackles in football, but I think his technique and footwork put him a touch below the top two tackles. Wirfs is an easier projection for a full time, career guard than the other two OTs above him. Wirfs would immediately plug in and upgrade Andrus Peat.

14. AJ Epenesa, DE Iowa

Epenesa is another guy that’s stock has hit the skids after a poor combine, but I’m not convinced it’s as meaningful as others are. Epenesa didn’t garner the second best PFF grade among edge defenders by being an athletic marvel. He’s a powerful defensive end with incredible hands and short area burst. In New Orleans, he would slot in as a quality base end. The talent on the roster right now makes his fit a little more odd, and he would likely kick inside on third downs to make way for Davenport off the edge. Not as easy a projection for the Saints, but I think he’s an incredible player.

15. Xavier McKinney, S Alabama

After doing this deeper player watching since 2015, McKinney is probably my favorite safety prospect to date. He checks every box. He has succeeded as a single high deep safety, has played in the box and succeeded in run support and is incredibly capable of covering the slot in man. Good enough athlete, good in coverage, and a great tackler. His versatility would be a major tool for the Saints in the secondary. Building a unit with he and the other young pieces is an exciting idea.

16. Patrick Queen, LB LSU

Incredible blend of speed and power. The physical tools are too impressive not to notice. With good coaching and a continued incline in his ability to read and shoot to the ball, think Patrick Willis. The knock is that he ascended a little later on in his LSU tenure, but against top notch competition at the end of his college career, he was dominant. The way New Orleans plays it’s linebackers, whether he’s at Mike or Sam, his ability to chase, cover and play downhill will slot right in at the second level. Fantastic fit for the Saints.

17. Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama

Blazing fast and quick twitched, Ruggs in the right offense has the makings of one of the league’s next great per-touch a game changer. There’s obviously a difference in field speed and track speed, but it’s hard to deny Ruggs of either. I wish he was a better fit in what the Saints do on offense. I think right now it’s hard to imagine New Orleans best utilizing a vertical burner like this. But as a prospect, Ruggs is exciting with a better fit.

18. Justin Jefferson, WR LSU

As a pure slot receiver Jefferson plays the position at such a high technical level. His ability to sell and break off short to intermediate routes makes him an easy to project safety valve in the passing game. He also showed at LSU and substantiated at the combine that he has the ability to get deep faster than you think and can go get the ball in the air. He’s a well rounded WR, that I feel safe saying will definitely be a winner at the next level. As most know, before the Sanders signing Jefferson was the player I wanted most. He has already proven that he thrives in this offense.

19. Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville

Becton will have a ton of love because guys his size aren’t suppose to move the way he does. He’s as large as Orlando Brown and twice the athlete. I’m not convinced he’s as stable as the top three tackles on the board because I don’t think his footwork is as natural and he will require more work, but I can see the appeal. I’m unsure of his fit with New Orleans. I think he’s an unnatural guard, and would have a hard time seeing the field early. If the goal is to eventually make him LT and let Armstead price himself out, I can see the desire.

20. Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin

If not for the devalued nature of the position, Taylor would crack the top 10 for me. I don’t understand why he’s not viewed as another priority offensive player. He had elite college production and an elite athletic profile to match. Though Wisconsin’s offense allows for monster statistical performances, I’m not sure the scheme was best fit for Taylor. He’s a build up, burst runner and will excel at the next level running off tackle. I agree with the wait and see opinion on his pass catching ability, but as a runner he’s Todd Gurley with better vision. On the surface, he’s not an easy plug with the Saints but if the goal is to give Kamara early down breaks, or use him in the slot more often with Sanders at the Z, Taylor’s presence would make for an insanely talent rich offense.

21. CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

I’m prepared to take it on the chin for my skepticism on Lamb. 21 is likely the lowest you will see him ranked. He had elite college production within an offense that has produced a ton of WRs with elite statistical showings. Is he really DeAndre Hopkins, or just a larger Dede Westbrook? My guess would be somewhere in the middle, which still makes him a solid weapon. I just don’t know that he’s a game altering #1. I feel New Orleans does not offer a good fit for his talent. He’s a downfield threat, and though he succeeds at the back shoulder, I think he’s best utilized on the boundary on the line of scrimmage.

22. K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge LSU

I will admit that I could be wrong about Chaisson being this low, because he could definitely end up being one of the best players in this class. My best comparison would be Harold Landry, a player that I loved coming out. He’s quick off the snap, has amazing lateral movement for his size and has long arms to separate himself when he’s extended. He can get swallowed once blockers get into him, but as a speed rusher off the edge it’s hard not to like him. Again, this skill set is one that has always complimented Cam Jordan on the opposite edge. Chaisson is a great fit for the Saints.

23. Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama

Another bigger, physical corner that can constrict well and mirror receivers with great footwork. He’s a very smart defensive back that’s recognition and timing are impeccable, and he has the ball skills to make plays when it’s in the air. He doesn’t have the long speed the top two corners have and he can get beat deep, but overall the traits are solid. Not sure I like him in a defense that utilizes a good bit of man on the boundary. More of a zone corner and not quite a fit with New Orleans.

24. Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan

Definitely the best natural interior talent in the class. Agile and smooth hipped, with power in his punch and a strong sense of angles, he probably deserves to be ranked higher. His combine numbers weren’t as impressive as film looked. The Saints used premium pick on Erik McCoy last season so it may not make sense on the surface to draft a player that’s best fit seems to be at center. The Bears recently drafted Cody Whitehair and James Daniel highly in back to back seasons and they’ve worked in decent tandem. Ruiz & McCoy would be a more talented pair in the same light.

25. Grant Delpit, S LSU

Struggled with this last pick between the two LSU defensive backs, and Josh Jones from Houston. Delpit gets the nod over the other two as best fit for New Orleans. For his part, Delpit is a physical, downhill tackler with much better coverage ability than he’s given credit for. Playing through injury he still showed the toughness and recognition to make plays on the ball, even if his long speed looked missing. With Vonn Bell likely on the way out the door, Delpit would slot into a box safety role. Reminds me a lot of Derwin James coming out and I think he will be a better pro than college player.

I would love for you all to share your top 25, even if you don’t feel like making a full write up of what you like about them.
 
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Sorry but I think you're wrong about Burrow. He definitely has a better chance of being in a Saints uniform than you or any of us on here do lol
 
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HogsNSaints

HogsNSaints

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Sorry but I think you're wrong about Burrow. He definitely has a better chance of being in a Saints uniform than you or any of us on here do lol

In 10-15 years it’s possible. In 2020 there’s not a chance.
 

SuperKid

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I would love for you all to share your top 25, even if you don’t feel like making a full write up of what you like about them.
Alrighty.

1. Burrow
2. Chase Young
3. Okudah
4. Simmons
5. Tua
6. Jedrick Wills
7. CeeDee Lamb
8. Jeudy
9. Andrew Thomas
10. Tristan Wirfs
11. Derrick Brown
12. Javon Kinlaw
13. Henry Ruggs
14. AJ Epenesa
15. CJ Henderson
16. Mekhi Becton
17. JK Dobbins
18. Justin Jefferson
19. Kristian Fulton
20. Xavier McKinney
21. Patrick Queen
22. D'Andre Swift
23. Cesar Ruiz
24. Grant Delpit
25. Jeff Gladney

Where I differ from you; I'm completely out on Herbert. I've watched a few game tapes of him and he has a lot of issues with accuracy consistency, and some of his mechanics with wasted movements like excessive ball flipping, and false stepping at the start of his drop with his left foot.. that and he never really wowed me in Big game moments with Oregon.

I'm a little bit lower on Derrick Brown than you but that's because I don't love his Pass rush potential with how poor he tested athletically, still think he'll be a difference maker against the run.

Love Jeudy but I'm just as high on CeeDee I see a lot of "Dog" in him to fight for and outmuscle DBs for the ball just because he wanted it more than them.

Don't love the fumbling issues with Taylor, and all the wear and tear from high volume carries in college.. I like Dobbins, Swift, and even Clyde over him.. I know people are wowed by his athletic measurements though.
 
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HogsNSaints

HogsNSaints

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Where I differ from you; I'm completely out on Herbert. I've watched a few game tapes of him and he has a lot of issues with accuracy consistency, and some of his mechanics with wasted movements like excessive ball flipping, and false stepping at the start of his drop with his left foot.. that and he never really wowed me in Big game moments with Oregon.

I'm a little bit lower on Derrick Brown than you but that's because I don't love his Pass rush potential with how poor he tested athletically, still think he'll be a difference maker against the run.

Love Jeudy but I'm just as high on CeeDee I see a lot of "Dog" in him to fight for and outmuscle DBs for the ball just because he wanted it more than them.

Don't love the fumbling issues with Taylor, and all the wear and tear from high volume carries in college.. I like Dobbins, Swift, and even Clyde over him.. I know people are wowed by his athletic measurements though.

The best tape Herbert has in the last year was at the Senior Bowl after only a week’s prep work in what amounts to a legitimate NFL offense. I knew there was fantastic arm talent and strong leadership, but that game was evidence that he could put it together and make NFL reads and throw with anticipation, not just throw the ball where the design says to go. I am excited to see what the NFL thinks of him. Probably the widest range of outcomes in the draft.

I had some skepticism with Lamb before the LSU playoff game, because man that offense vs the defenses they played manufactured so many open field opportunities. He broke 100 yards and was maybe playing less than 100%, but I think on a play to play basis he was hot and cold. I think that’s what I’m nervous about. Is he just a splash player? I worry about him disappearing at times and being more Robby Anderson than Hopkins.
 

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