Saints Saints Draft Re-cap... Player Reviews and Fits (1 Viewer)

Saint Lattimore

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Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan - Ruiz was widely considered the best IOL prospect in the draft class, and he should become a long-standing fixture on the Saints O-Line. In all likelihood he competes with Erik McCoy at both C and RG, and both players start at each position when the dust settles. Versatility is lagniappe.

Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin - Baun was a 1st round rated prospect that the Saints were able to steal in the early 3rd round. He slipped because of a diluted urine sample and because he is considered by some to be a “tweener”. He also has a reported knee concern that likely will not effect him for a few years (if at all). I love this pick, and would have been happy if the Saints had taken Baun at 24th overall. I believe he will successfully transition into the MIKE role and be a contributor right away. The comparisons to Kikaha and/or Davis Tull are ridiculous IMO. Kikaha was a college pass rushing DE with 2 major knee injuries coming out of Washington, and was a reach in the 2nd round. He flashed early, but bottom line... that was a bad pick. Davis Tull was a small school LB with tools, but he was a long shot that didn’t work out. Baun is different. He was very productive at a Big 10 program, smart, and athletic and fast. I see Baun playing MIKE and SAM in different sets.

Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton - Trautman was considered among the top 3 TE prospects in the draft, despite playing his college ball at Dayton. He has the size, strength, and athleticism to be a true in-line TE that can also flex out and contribute in a more non-traditional role. He reminds me of former Steelers TE Heath Miller, and if he works out similarly as a pro, it’s a major win for the Saints. With Jared Cook entering his final year under contract and getting up in age, Trautman is in an excellent position to become the Saints feature TE for years to come.

Tommy Stevens, QB/TE, Mississippi State - Stevens took the approach of trying to market himself as “the next Taysom Hill” to help his chances of making a NFL roster. He’s a very good athlete at 6’4 and around 245lbs, and his workout numbers were as good or better than just about every QB or TE that attended the NFL Combine across the board. That type of athleticism, coupled with a willingness to do whatever is asked of him, is what made Stevens appealing to the Saints. I do not see Stevens doing all of the same things Taysom Hill does however... Stevens might occasionally do a bit of WildCat QB plays, but I think he will primarily be used as a move TE, H-Back, and FB. He reminds me of a faster, more athletic, Blake Bell. Stevens will also have to excel on STs, but he has the physical skills to do it I do not see him getting any work as a WR. He could be listed on the roster as a QB, but this kid is not going to be a QB.

*I’m a nerd for jersey numbers, and anticipate hearing what # new players take or get... based on past numbers and availability, here’s my guesses for the rookie class’s jersey #’s.

Cesar Ruiz - #51

Zack Baun - He’s not getting #56... so I’m thinking #58, #53, or #46 are real possibilities.

Adam Trautman - #84... unless Lil’Jordan has more clout than I think.

Tommy Stevens - #2 was his # at Penn St.
 

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Not really a fan of the Steven picks. But the coaches have a vision for him and gave up quite a bit. I know it is just a 6th but they had that fear of losing him in free agent that they had to make that trade.
 
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Saint Lattimore

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Not really a fan of the Steven picks. But the coaches have a vision for him and gave up quite a bit. I know it is just a 6th but they had that fear of losing him in free agent that they had to make that trade.

As with all of the Saints picks and additions, CSP spoke of a specific “vision” for the player.. That is true for Stevens as well.
I think they have been worried Stevens would get a bigger offer as an UDFA, and the Saints wanted to make sure they secured him... so they can realize that “vision”.
I’m excited about the pick, and at the very least, Stevens will be a fun player to follow and root for.

Like I said, I see him more in an H-Back/TE role with some spot FB duty mixed in.
 
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Saint Lattimore

Saint Lattimore

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Tommy Stevens is really a faster, more athletic, version of Jason Vander Laan.

Vander Laan was a reserve TE for the Saints last season, and stuck on the roster before landing on IR. He even got some playing time at TE/H-Back/FB... I see the same vision for Stevens...

Vander Laan was a college QB as well during his playing days at Ferris State.
 

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Not really a fan of the Steven picks. But the coaches have a vision for him and gave up quite a bit. I know it is just a 6th but they had that fear of losing him in free agent that they had to make that trade.
They gave up quite a bit, a 6th round pick, really...plus we get get a comp 6th next year
 
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I can’t understand the tweener talk about Baun. He’s like 8 pounds lighter than Von Miller

I think that is relative to a 4-3. In a 3-4 he is a prototypical OLB. That said, I think there is much more crossover in today's versatile defenses and they can find plenty of places to put him. Saints do plenty of 3 lineman sets.

I think they'll try him at Sam but he could essentially change the set by moving to the edge without changing the package.

Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan - Ruiz was widely considered the best IOL prospect in the draft class, and he should become a long-standing fixture on the Saints O-Line. In all likelihood he competes with Erik McCoy at both C and RG, and both players start at each position when the dust settles. Versatility is lagniappe.

Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin - Baun was a 1st round rated prospect that the Saints were able to steal in the early 3rd round. He slipped because of a diluted urine sample and because he is considered by some to be a “tweener”. He also has a reported knee concern that likely will not effect him for a few years (if at all). I love this pick, and would have been happy if the Saints had taken Baun at 24th overall. I believe he will successfully transition into the MIKE role and be a contributor right away. The comparisons to Kikaha and/or Davis Tull are ridiculous IMO. Kikaha was a college pass rushing DE with 2 major knee injuries coming out of Washington, and was a reach in the 2nd round. He flashed early, but bottom line... that was a bad pick. Davis Tull was a small school LB with tools, but he was a long shot that didn’t work out. Baun is different. He was very productive at a Big 10 program, smart, and athletic and fast. I see Baun playing MIKE and SAM in different sets.

Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton - Trautman was considered among the top 3 TE prospects in the draft, despite playing his college ball at Dayton. He has the size, strength, and athleticism to be a true in-line TE that can also flex out and contribute in a more non-traditional role. He reminds me of former Steelers TE Heath Miller, and if he works out similarly as a pro, it’s a major win for the Saints. With Jared Cook entering his final year under contract and getting up in age, Trautman is in an excellent position to become the Saints feature TE for years to come.

Tommy Stevens, QB/TE, Mississippi State - Stevens took the approach of trying to market himself as “the next Taysom Hill” to help his chances of making a NFL roster. He’s a very good athlete at 6’4 and around 245lbs, and his workout numbers were as good or better than just about every QB or TE that attended the NFL Combine across the board. That type of athleticism, coupled with a willingness to do whatever is asked of him, is what made Stevens appealing to the Saints. I do not see Stevens doing all of the same things Taysom Hill does however... Stevens might occasionally do a bit of WildCat QB plays, but I think he will primarily be used as a move TE, H-Back, and FB. He reminds me of a faster, more athletic, Blake Bell. Stevens will also have to excel on STs, but he has the physical skills to do it I do not see him getting any work as a WR. He could be listed on the roster as a QB, but this kid is not going to be a QB.

*I’m a nerd for jersey numbers, and anticipate hearing what # new players take or get... based on past numbers and availability, here’s my guesses for the rookie class’s jersey #’s.

Cesar Ruiz - #51

Zack Baun - He’s not getting #56... so I’m thinking #58, #53, or #46 are real possibilities.

Adam Trautman - #84... unless Lil’Jordan has more clout than I think.

Tommy Stevens - #2 was his # at Penn St.

The only thing I take issue with is Kikaha. I guess I would just like to clarify that I don't think Kikaha was a bad player. He wasn't a star but would have been good. He just couldn't stay healthy.
 

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I can’t understand the tweener talk about Baun. He’s like 8 pounds lighter than Von Miller

Von Miller is one of the few exceptions to the rule...there aren't many 238lb standup DE's in the NFL....but they are probably going to convert him to SAM and I think that is where the risk comes in, he hasn't ever played the position full time....we shall see....
 
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Saint Lattimore

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Something else I have been thinking about Stevens, and what could be the “vision” for him with the Saints...

H-back/Fullback and very little to zero work as a traditional TE or running QB.

Stevens “official” measurables from his pro day list him at 6’4 and 247lbs. I realize that 6’4 is tall for a FB, but former Patriots FB James Develin was 6’3 and he was widely considered among the best FBs in the league... of course, current Ravens FB Patrick Ricard has broken the mold for FBs at 6’3, 300lbs.. but he’s a special case. Former Raiders FB Marcel Reece was not quite as tall, but he successfully made the transition from college WR, at the University of Washington, to NFL FB.

The Saints may have signed Michael Burton this offseason, and I like him as a player... they also have Rickey Ortiz on the roster... but if they’re thinking “outside of the box”, which seems to be a CSP norm, then the vision for Stevens could include FB.

However it goes, it should be a fun and interesting ride for Stevens...

0A5CE01A-3887-4CFC-8A05-C47E3830FEA7.jpeg
 
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Rdanderson91

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Von Miller is one of the few exceptions to the rule...there aren't many 238lb standup DE's in the NFL....but they are probably going to convert him to SAM and I think that is where the risk comes in, he hasn't ever played the position full time....we shall see....

Khalil Mack is the same way. 5 pounds heavier than Baun
 

TruSaint

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Baun will play Sam in the base. He’s better at setting the edge and covering the flats and pass rushing vs tackles and tight ends.

He won’t play in the nickel unless:

1. anzalone isn’t doing well in coverage (which he excels at) or if anzalone gets hurt.

2. Davenport gets hurt, then he’ll get weak side defensive end snaps.

3. If rankins gets hurt you could see cam Jordan sliding inside in some sub packages and Baun getting end snaps.
 
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Saint Lattimore

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Khalil Mack is the same way. 5 pounds heavier than Baun

The thing is... every player is different... even if they have the same height, weight, speed, strength, etc... Its what’s between their ears and what’s in their hearts that differentiates them.
There have been plenty of RBs that have been 5’10, 200lbs, but there was only one Walter Payton.
 

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