What Just Happened: The New Orleans Saints 2021 Draft (1 Viewer)

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

More than 15K posts served!
VIP Contributor
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
17,185
Reaction score
30,895
Offline
Afternoon SR,


It's been a while since I've done a truly meaningful deep dive post because I've lost touch an excitement with Saints football. Doing the podcast drained me more than I realized and it's occured to me I'm most comfortable right here on Saints Report. As long as I was here I did these just for the love of it, but eventually it turned into a grind and became less fun.

Disclaimer: Very rarely will you see me say things like "I went back and watched the tape" etc. I'm not a scout and don't portray myself to be one that's my good friend @NOFALCONS10. Much like the 2016 review I did, I don't grade the players.... I grade the logic behind the picks and try to describe the vision for the player. When you approach it that way it takes the "if only we'd drafted this player" thought process out of it. I'm very malleable and hardly know much about the specific players(I'll have a favorite or two), but once they're drafted I try to digest as much about them as I can to create a clear picture.

With that being said.... Lets jump into this.


I gave the overall draft a B+ and it's because I agree with Loomis. The Saints didn't have very many holes to fill and teams picking late in the draft are usually picking there because they already have a good team. In other words there are not many roster spots for a rookie to come in and take hold of. Good teams usually have the luxury of bringing rookies along slowly and gradually ask them to do more, while not so good teams usually have to throw their picks into the 10ft end of the pool and see if they can tread water. Some guys turn out fine, some are ruined before their career even gets going. The Saints haven't been in that predicament since 2016 so everyone should be happy that this team doesn't have to force players to start and contribute right away. Finally, we didn't trade away any future picks, and that's what kept it a B+ and not just a B. I enjoy when the draft falls such a way that keeps the organization from being overly aggressive.


Round 1 - Payton Turner - DE - Houston *Player comparison in Davenport but likely to be better*

What I liked about the pick: The Planet theory has long been a rule that Payton's mentor Bill Parcells abided by. Big People, beat up little people and they stay healthier too! The Saints stuck to their MO and drafted a guy that fits their prototype for success. You simply cannot team 35inch arms, a 7foot wingspan and a high motor. When SP suggested that Turner had 1st round traits he was talking about his athleticism, work ethic, relatively clean medical history, and clean background. The biggest knock was his lack of 1st round production. It simply wasn't there, but do a deep dive and you discover that the young man was miscast as a DT for much of his college career. Only in his senior season did he play DE and looked good doing it.

Also, Don't let anyone tell you DE wasn't a position of need.

After losing Trey Hendrickson, watching Cam Jordan decline due to being on the wrong side of 30, and seeing Marcus Davenport take a step back in year 3 - DE was very much a position of need as it has a lot of questions with no immediate answers. Does Jordan return to glory and how much longer will his contract value match his production? Can Davenport finally put it together? Who replaces Hendrickson? Will Carl Granderson continue to grow? Even if he isn't an elite passrusher as a rookie, he should be a solid run defender on the edge right out of the box. That's something that Granderson or Hendrickson couldn't give you last year when Davenport went down. As far as the player himself you've seen the RAS score so athletically he's capable of producing, and he's got a great teacher in Ryan Nielsen to develop him but what I appreciate the most about him is his maturity coming in. He filled out his 6'6 frame from 215 ish as a frshman to 290 at one point and then dropped to 270 in his final year. Do you know how much effort, dedication to your craft, and passion that takes? He was also a team captain and well respected in the lockeroom and was named to the AAC honor roll last year.

What I didn't like about the pick: Leverage, to me, is something that if a player struggles with it coming out of college he'll struggle with it in the pro's. It's like a CB that struggles getting his head around in college. Typically when he gets to the pro's that issue persists. Turner plays high and that's going to limit him. I've seen it suggested that he can play inside, and I'm sure he can, but not until he fixes his leverage. Standing straight up like he does limits his effectiveness.

Payton has a clear path to snaps as a 1st rounder but we also know this team isnt' afraid to give those snaps away to a better performing player. Carl Granderson is his chief competition and right now a more polished passrusher so he'll have his work cut out for him.

Year 1 Ceiling -Primary 3rd down rusher
Year 1 Floor - Backup Base DE with ability to set edge/defend run


Round 2 - Pete Werner - LB - OSU *Safest Pick*

What I liked about the pick: So as much as I appreciate prototypes at DE, is as much as a I loathe them at LB. It's the one position where I feel as though athleticism could potentially give the player a high ceiling but if smarts/intelligence isn't there it means the floor is super low. Chris Borland (49ers lb) if you guys remember him was midly athletic, almost the exact opposite of Stephone Anthony but was the better player. Linebackers more than anything need to be going the right direction when the play is snapped. No matter how fast you are it won't matter if you can't read the field. Werner is athletic but he's lauded more for being a leader (theme with this draft) and constantly being around the ball. What's Payton's old mantra....Do your job? That's effectively the type of player Werner is. He has the athletic profile that offers upside but his floor is high enough that he'll likely come in and carve out a niche year one. I don't feel like I need to do as much explaining on this pick because everyone knew we needed a linebacker. I will however say this, the Saints will not draft smaller LB's. If you want to know their value for undersized LB's look at what they payed to get Kwon Alexander. Unless the LB has overwhelming traits that make up for lack of size (Like Vilma) they will steer clear of those guys in early rounds. The Patrick Queens and JOK's of the world are and will always be a pipe dream for the Saints. Werner has that OSU pedigree so you know there is a bit of maturity with him coming into the league and you also know that the game won't be too big for him as a rookie. He's also far more explosive in the lowerbody than the guy he's replacing in Anzalone.

What I didn't like about the pick: I'm not so sure our LB coach has done enough to prove he's capable of developing players. There wasn't much development relative to Baun (though he was raw as an offball LB) last year and coincidentally our LB play took a step back in the 1st half of the season and took us having to trade for Kwon to settle things down. If Mike Nolan were still here I'd feel much more comfortable but again, it helps that Werner has a solid floor as a rookie.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter in Nickel next to Davis
Year 1 Floor - 2 down LB and ST's contributor (because Baun takes a leap)


Round 3 - Paulson Adebo - CB - Stanford

What I liked about the pick: Giving Kris Richard a piece of raw clay to work with and coach up. One of Adebo's biggest drawbacks (hasn't played football in over a year)could also be looked at as a significant strength because there shouldn't be a ton of bad habits to coach away. He's thickly built and his body type reminds me of Prince Amukamara. Currently the Saints have veteran defensive back field that has seen all of the players in the system for less than 3 years (Malcolm Jenkins withstanding). If there was any position the Saints could take rookie lumps it was at corner. Adebo comes into one of the best secondaries in the league along with one of the better secondary coaching staffs. I'm not sure if it was @NOFALCONS10 or the scouting service I used that turned me on to this trait but CB's with good tackling #'s are usually good corners and Adebo is a willing participant. He's tough and at the catch point and listening to him talk gives me the impression he has a short memory. A quick walk down memory lane will remind you that Ken Crawley,Marshon Lattimore, and Eli Apple all have struggled with their confidence at one point. I simply don't get that impression from Adebo and he'll need that as the #2 CB across from Lattimore. His ball production in college suggest he should be able to take advantage of teams throwing away from Lattimore and that's what we've needed around these parts.

What I didn't like about the pick: As mentioned above having not played meaningful snaps in a year is worrisome as is him not having access to coaches early in the offseason (based on what we've heard from the NFLPA and Saints players). It wouldn't be that big of an issue if #2 CB wasn't such a huge hole fill (though I'm pretty confident in Patrick Robinson who was damn near shut down in the games he had to play across from Lattimore) but Adebo hitting the ground running and staying healthy is imperative to him developing the way he needs to as a rookie. His fundamentals need work and like most guys with ball skills there's also a propensity to give up plays to the offense. Good safety help behind him should help with that but it's something to be noted. I'd have also preferred a CB within the top 50 picks but alas, the Saints had a price they were willing to pay and decided to not go over it. That level of discipline is why they've been a Top 10 drafting team since Ireland arrived.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter at LCB
Year 1 Floor - Dime Back (sub package CB on passing downs)


Round 4 - Ian Book - QB - Notre Dame *Chase Daniels...The Sequel*

What I liked about the pick: Drafting a QB every year is good business. I'll never rag on taking one, especially when said player is around 6'0 with nearly 10inch hands a has what looks to be a birthmark on his face. In all seriousness I can't argue with another player representing the theme of this draft in them having leadership skills and above average athleticism at their position. He won't do anything but hold a clip board year 1 and I'm not super keen on it but I've seen people suggest he's a Julian Edelman type that could eventually shift to WR. I'm not buying it right now but not going to say that's a dumb call either. What I do know is Drew had some insight into the player a bit as he was able to watch him a few times last year and get to know him a bit since he's calling ND games this year. He's more mobile as a QB than say Winston and a more natural passer than Taysom so there's a good blend of traits there to coach up. He's not as good as either player at their respective talents but again, there's something to be developed there.

What I didn't like about the pick: He's gunshy and Payton is a notoriously aggressive coach. Part of what made his and Drew's marriage so special is that both are aggressive guys by nature. You don't hear Drew described a gunslinger much but that's EXACTLY what he was. Also unlike Drew he hasn't figured out throwing windows/lanes to make up for him being 6'0. Drew's neck was always craned upward because he couldn't see but he'd throw to spots on the field where the route should be based on coverage. Rather than do that, Ian will run at this point in his career and we don't know yet if his scramble ability will translate to the NFL.

Year 1 Ceiling - ClipBoard
Year 1 Floor - Clipboard


Round 6 Landon Young - T - Kentucky

What I liked about the pick: The entire left side of the line is an injury waiting to happen at some point in the season. Armstead is in the final year of his contract and they've yet to extend Ram. Drafting a player that could give you a bit of room in the future as well as the Saints success with drafting offensive lineman gives good vibes. Their biggest miss was Rick Leonard and it's forgiveable when you look at our overall draft history as it pertains to that position group. The best thing about Young is the # of reps and experience he got at T (started 30 games) and the level of competition he faced (SEC). He also comes in with the right frame of mind and interest in playing any position for the Saints. Position flexibitlity is one of the easiest ways to carve our a spot on this team as the more a player can do the more value he brings to the team. In Landon's case it's his quickest route to landing a spot on the 53 man roster.

What I didn't like about the pick: Dan Roushar, the guy responsible for the development of our Olineman the last 3-4 years has been moved to TE's coach and running game coordinator. That's good for Roushar but how does that change the dynamic and development of players in the oline room? Granted you've got Armstead, Peat, and Ram all as 3+ year veterans to help out but it's not their job to coach players up either, so I'm curious how the new Oline coach does as far as development. Otherwise there's very little to not like as he's a 6th round pick and expectations shouldn't be high anyway.

Year 1 ceiling - Jumbo TE or 6th OL
Year 1 Floor - Practice Squad


Round 7 Kawaan Baker - WR - South Alabama **Potentially Willie Snead w/ Speed**

What I liked about the pick: It's a high upside pick and exactly the type of guy you draft in the 7th round. If you're going to take a flyer on a guy late he better be athletic because you want to give him as clear of a path to making a roster spot as possible. His lower body explosiveness is on the high end and it makes me think about how SP wanted TQS to work on his lower body explosiveness in his rookie year because his "acceleration was like a Tesla". He won't have that problem after posting an almost 11ft Broad, 4.41 40, and 39.5 inch vert. Hell I didn't even mention the 10inch hands. Baker's got outside potential and that's where Payton expects him to start working from but I feel he'd be a terror in the slot at some point. Fast enough to run away from LB's but big enough to body smaller slot CB's. Also one has to take into consideration that Tre'Quan is in the final year of his contract so much like the Landon Young pick it gives you a little future flexibility based on how he develops. However, unlike Landon Young I feel excellent about the coaching he's going to receive from Curtis Johnson. The guy's a whiz at developing receivers and Baker has a ton of traits that could see him latch on at the position.

What I didn't like about the pick: Nothing he's a 7th round pick <shrugs> I've read he's had some drops but that's something that can be worked on....ask Marques Colston. Also he'll be making a significant jump in level of competition he's used to facing. There will be a learning curve.

Year 1 Ceiling - 5th or 6th WR/ST's contributor
Year 1 floor - Practice Squad


Summary:

This class is loaded with potential and I see at least 4 of the 6 developing because I'm confident in the coaching at the positions and the path that they have to playing time. Those 4 would be Turner, Adebo, Book, and Baker. Of those 4 Turner has the star potential but Adebo is in the best predicament with regards to surrouding talent, coaching, and expectations. I am definitely not down on Werner by any stretch of the imagination but Michael Hodges hasn't given me much to be excited about with regards to coaching up talent, but I think he can effectively replace Anzalone year 1 so long as he can beat out Baun (if that's his direct competition).


Enjoy the read: Who Dat!!
 

td2w

Let's go get em
Joined
Oct 18, 2017
Messages
367
Reaction score
1,060
Offline
Thanks for the in-depth insight. Great read!
Honestly I think we should wait a couple of years before judging the draft. (just like any draft)

It's very hard for us fans or media people to judge players - the Saints staff (and rest of the NFL) scouted these players for hours and hours, so I guess they might know a bit better.

Sometimes you hit a gold mine (2017), and sometimes it's mixed, but we'll soon see.
 
Joined
May 30, 2011
Messages
13,662
Reaction score
22,536
Offline
Interestingly...when Baker was asked where he feels he is strongest, he said the slot. When asked who he compared to, he said Deebo Samuel.

So...it certainly does seem to be a disconnect between what Saints fans expect versus what the player expects.
 

Taker597

Hall-of-Famer
VIP Contributor
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Messages
11,217
Reaction score
20,971
Age
31
Location
Victoria, TX
Online
I really enjoyed this draft once the full picture comes together.

Probably like it a little more than our 2016 draft. I see 3 mainstay players that'll get substantial second contracts.
 

JvilleJoe

Subscribing Member
Platinum VIP Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2000
Messages
10,184
Reaction score
3,976
Offline
Ellias, thanks much. I always enjoy your indepth analysis and opinions, always backed up. The usual overreaction by many on SR, an annual occurence so I am used to it, does need to be balanced with the understanding that it does take about 3 years to really grade a draft. I admit I was surprised by our @1, but I bet scouts and GM's around the league were not so much and it is those guys who have the most knowledge about a player(s). I will say that we do have to hit on these guys as they are replacing some veterans who were solid contributors the last few years.
 

No2DC

Hall-of-Famer
VIP Contributor
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
5,765
Reaction score
6,573
Age
46
Offline
Thanks for the write-up. I just hope we can have a decent rookie/2nd-year camp this year with vaccines widely available.
 

simon templar

All-Pro
VIP Contributor
Joined
Jul 30, 2000
Messages
1,256
Reaction score
831
Offline
Afternoon SR,


It's been a while since I've done a truly meaningful deep dive post because I've lost touch an excitement with Saints football. Doing the podcast drained me more than I realized and it's occured to me I'm most comfortable right here on Saints Report. As long as I was here I did these just for the love of it, but eventually it turned into a grind and became less fun.

Disclaimer: Very rarely will you see me say things like "I went back and watched the tape" etc. I'm not a scout and don't portray myself to be one that's my good friend @NOFALCONS10. Much like the 2016 review I did, I don't grade the players.... I grade the logic behind the picks and try to describe the vision for the player. When you approach it that way it takes the "if only we'd drafted this player" thought process out of it. I'm very malleable and hardly know much about the specific players(I'll have a favorite or two), but once they're drafted I try to digest as much about them as I can to create a clear picture.

With that being said.... Lets jump into this.


I gave the overall draft a B+ and it's because I agree with Loomis. The Saints didn't have very many holes to fill and teams picking late in the draft are usually picking there because they already have a good team. In other words there are not many roster spots for a rookie to come in and take hold of. Good teams usually have the luxury of bringing rookies along slowly and gradually ask them to do more, while not so good teams usually have to throw their picks into the 10ft end of the pool and see if they can tread water. Some guys turn out fine, some are ruined before their career even gets going. The Saints haven't been in that predicament since 2016 so everyone should be happy that this team doesn't have to force players to start and contribute right away. Finally, we didn't trade away any future picks, and that's what kept it a B+ and not just a B. I enjoy when the draft falls such a way that keeps the organization from being overly aggressive.


Round 1 - Payton Turner - DE - Houston *Player comparison in Davenport but likely to be better*

What I liked about the pick: The Planet theory has long been a rule that Payton's mentor Bill Parcells abided by. Big People, beat up little people and they stay healthier too! The Saints stuck to their MO and drafted a guy that fits their prototype for success. You simply cannot team 35inch arms, a 7foot wingspan and a high motor. When SP suggested that Turner had 1st round traits he was talking about his athleticism, work ethic, relatively clean medical history, and clean background. The biggest knock was his lack of 1st round production. It simply wasn't there, but do a deep dive and you discover that the young man was miscast as a DT for much of his college career. Only in his senior season did he play DE and looked good doing it.

Also, Don't let anyone tell you DE wasn't a position of need.

After losing Trey Hendrickson, watching Cam Jordan decline due to being on the wrong side of 30, and seeing Marcus Davenport take a step back in year 3 - DE was very much a position of need as it has a lot of questions with no immediate answers. Does Jordan return to glory and how much longer will his contract value match his production? Can Davenport finally put it together? Who replaces Hendrickson? Will Carl Granderson continue to grow? Even if he isn't an elite passrusher as a rookie, he should be a solid run defender on the edge right out of the box. That's something that Granderson or Hendrickson couldn't give you last year when Davenport went down. As far as the player himself you've seen the RAS score so athletically he's capable of producing, and he's got a great teacher in Ryan Nielsen to develop him but what I appreciate the most about him is his maturity coming in. He filled out his 6'6 frame from 215 ish as a frshman to 290 at one point and then dropped to 270 in his final year. Do you know how much effort, dedication to your craft, and passion that takes? He was also a team captain and well respected in the lockeroom and was named to the AAC honor roll last year.

What I didn't like about the pick: Leverage, to me, is something that if a player struggles with it coming out of college he'll struggle with it in the pro's. It's like a CB that struggles getting his head around in college. Typically when he gets to the pro's that issue persists. Turner plays high and that's going to limit him. I've seen it suggested that he can play inside, and I'm sure he can, but not until he fixes his leverage. Standing straight up like he does limits his effectiveness.

Payton has a clear path to snaps as a 1st rounder but we also know this team isnt' afraid to give those snaps away to a better performing player. Carl Granderson is his chief competition and right now a more polished passrusher so he'll have his work cut out for him.

Year 1 Ceiling -Primary 3rd down rusher
Year 1 Floor - Backup Base DE with ability to set edge/defend run


Round 2 - Pete Werner - LB - OSU *Safest Pick*

What I liked about the pick: So as much as I appreciate prototypes at DE, is as much as a I loathe them at LB. It's the one position where I feel as though athleticism could potentially give the player a high ceiling but if smarts/intelligence isn't there it means the floor is super low. Chris Borland (49ers lb) if you guys remember him was midly athletic, almost the exact opposite of Stephone Anthony but was the better player. Linebackers more than anything need to be going the right direction when the play is snapped. No matter how fast you are it won't matter if you can't read the field. Werner is athletic but he's lauded more for being a leader (theme with this draft) and constantly being around the ball. What's Payton's old mantra....Do your job? That's effectively the type of player Werner is. He has the athletic profile that offers upside but his floor is high enough that he'll likely come in and carve out a niche year one. I don't feel like I need to do as much explaining on this pick because everyone knew we needed a linebacker. I will however say this, the Saints will not draft smaller LB's. If you want to know their value for undersized LB's look at what they payed to get Kwon Alexander. Unless the LB has overwhelming traits that make up for lack of size (Like Vilma) they will steer clear of those guys in early rounds. The Patrick Queens and JOK's of the world are and will always be a pipe dream for the Saints. Werner has that OSU pedigree so you know there is a bit of maturity with him coming into the league and you also know that the game won't be too big for him as a rookie. He's also far more explosive in the lowerbody than the guy he's replacing in Anzalone.

What I didn't like about the pick: I'm not so sure our LB coach has done enough to prove he's capable of developing players. There wasn't much development relative to Baun (though he was raw as an offball LB) last year and coincidentally our LB play took a step back in the 1st half of the season and took us having to trade for Kwon to settle things down. If Mike Nolan were still here I'd feel much more comfortable but again, it helps that Werner has a solid floor as a rookie.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter in Nickel next to Davis
Year 1 Floor - 2 down LB and ST's contributor (because Baun takes a leap)


Round 3 - Paulson Adebo - CB - Stanford

What I liked about the pick: Giving Kris Richard a piece of raw clay to work with and coach up. One of Adebo's biggest drawbacks (hasn't played football in over a year)could also be looked at as a significant strength because there shouldn't be a ton of bad habits to coach away. He's thickly built and his body type reminds me of Prince Amukamara. Currently the Saints have veteran defensive back field that has seen all of the players in the system for less than 3 years (Malcolm Jenkins withstanding). If there was any position the Saints could take rookie lumps it was at corner. Adebo comes into one of the best secondaries in the league along with one of the better secondary coaching staffs. I'm not sure if it was @NOFALCONS10 or the scouting service I used that turned me on to this trait but CB's with good tackling #'s are usually good corners and Adebo is a willing participant. He's tough and at the catch point and listening to him talk gives me the impression he has a short memory. A quick walk down memory lane will remind you that Ken Crawley,Marshon Lattimore, and Eli Apple all have struggled with their confidence at one point. I simply don't get that impression from Adebo and he'll need that as the #2 CB across from Lattimore. His ball production in college suggest he should be able to take advantage of teams throwing away from Lattimore and that's what we've needed around these parts.

What I didn't like about the pick: As mentioned above having not played meaningful snaps in a year is worrisome as is him not having access to coaches early in the offseason (based on what we've heard from the NFLPA and Saints players). It wouldn't be that big of an issue if #2 CB wasn't such a huge hole fill (though I'm pretty confident in Patrick Robinson who was damn near shut down in the games he had to play across from Lattimore) but Adebo hitting the ground running and staying healthy is imperative to him developing the way he needs to as a rookie. His fundamentals need work and like most guys with ball skills there's also a propensity to give up plays to the offense. Good safety help behind him should help with that but it's something to be noted. I'd have also preferred a CB within the top 50 picks but alas, the Saints had a price they were willing to pay and decided to not go over it. That level of discipline is why they've been a Top 10 drafting team since Ireland arrived.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter at LCB
Year 1 Floor - Dime Back (sub package CB on passing downs)


Round 4 - Ian Book - QB - Notre Dame *Chase Daniels...The Sequel*

What I liked about the pick: Drafting a QB every year is good business. I'll never rag on taking one, especially when said player is around 6'0 with nearly 10inch hands a has what looks to be a birthmark on his face. In all seriousness I can't argue with another player representing the theme of this draft in them having leadership skills and above average athleticism at their position. He won't do anything but hold a clip board year 1 and I'm not super keen on it but I've seen people suggest he's a Julian Edelman type that could eventually shift to WR. I'm not buying it right now but not going to say that's a dumb call either. What I do know is Drew had some insight into the player a bit as he was able to watch him a few times last year and get to know him a bit since he's calling ND games this year. He's more mobile as a QB than say Winston and a more natural passer than Taysom so there's a good blend of traits there to coach up. He's not as good as either player at their respective talents but again, there's something to be developed there.

What I didn't like about the pick: He's gunshy and Payton is a notoriously aggressive coach. Part of what made his and Drew's marriage so special is that both are aggressive guys by nature. You don't hear Drew described a gunslinger much but that's EXACTLY what he was. Also unlike Drew he hasn't figured out throwing windows/lanes to make up for him being 6'0. Drew's neck was always craned upward because he couldn't see but he'd throw to spots on the field where the route should be based on coverage. Rather than do that, Ian will run at this point in his career and we don't know yet if his scramble ability will translate to the NFL.

Year 1 Ceiling - ClipBoard
Year 1 Floor - Clipboard


Round 6 Landon Young - T - Kentucky

What I liked about the pick: The entire left side of the line is an injury waiting to happen at some point in the season. Armstead is in the final year of his contract and they've yet to extend Ram. Drafting a player that could give you a bit of room in the future as well as the Saints success with drafting offensive lineman gives good vibes. Their biggest miss was Rick Leonard and it's forgiveable when you look at our overall draft history as it pertains to that position group. The best thing about Young is the # of reps and experience he got at T (started 30 games) and the level of competition he faced (SEC). He also comes in with the right frame of mind and interest in playing any position for the Saints. Position flexibitlity is one of the easiest ways to carve our a spot on this team as the more a player can do the more value he brings to the team. In Landon's case it's his quickest route to landing a spot on the 53 man roster.

What I didn't like about the pick: Dan Roushar, the guy responsible for the development of our Olineman the last 3-4 years has been moved to TE's coach and running game coordinator. That's good for Roushar but how does that change the dynamic and development of players in the oline room? Granted you've got Armstead, Peat, and Ram all as 3+ year veterans to help out but it's not their job to coach players up either, so I'm curious how the new Oline coach does as far as development. Otherwise there's very little to not like as he's a 6th round pick and expectations shouldn't be high anyway.

Year 1 ceiling - Jumbo TE or 6th OL
Year 1 Floor - Practice Squad


Round 7 Kawaan Baker - WR - South Alabama **Potentially Willie Snead w/ Speed**

What I liked about the pick: It's a high upside pick and exactly the type of guy you draft in the 7th round. If you're going to take a flyer on a guy late he better be athletic because you want to give him as clear of a path to making a roster spot as possible. His lower body explosiveness is on the high end and it makes me think about how SP wanted TQS to work on his lower body explosiveness in his rookie year because his "acceleration was like a Tesla". He won't have that problem after posting an almost 11ft Broad, 4.41 40, and 39.5 inch vert. Hell I didn't even mention the 10inch hands. Baker's got outside potential and that's where Payton expects him to start working from but I feel he'd be a terror in the slot at some point. Fast enough to run away from LB's but big enough to body smaller slot CB's. Also one has to take into consideration that Tre'Quan is in the final year of his contract so much like the Landon Young pick it gives you a little future flexibility based on how he develops. However, unlike Landon Young I feel excellent about the coaching he's going to receive from Curtis Johnson. The guy's a whiz at developing receivers and Baker has a ton of traits that could see him latch on at the position.

What I didn't like about the pick: Nothing he's a 7th round pick <shrugs> I've read he's had some drops but that's something that can be worked on....ask Marques Colston. Also he'll be making a significant jump in level of competition he's used to facing. There will be a learning curve.

Year 1 Ceiling - 5th or 6th WR/ST's contributor
Year 1 floor - Practice Squad


Summary:

This class is loaded with potential and I see at least 4 of the 6 developing because I'm confident in the coaching at the positions and the path that they have to playing time. Those 4 would be Turner, Adebo, Book, and Baker. Of those 4 Turner has the star potential but Adebo is in the best predicament with regards to surrouding talent, coaching, and expectations. I am definitely not down on Werner by any stretch of the imagination but Michael Hodges hasn't given me much to be excited about with regards to coaching up talent, but I think he can effectively replace Anzalone year 1 so long as he can beat out Baun (if that's his direct competition).


Enjoy the read: Who Dat!!
I enjoyed the read very much. Thanks for posting.
 

Saintster

Through Thick and Thin since 1986
Gold VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 17, 1997
Messages
7,739
Reaction score
4,112
Age
54
Location
North Bend Oregon
Offline
Good stuff Elias thanks for the thought out post . I don't watch college football so I never know who is who this gives me some idea of what we have going on. It's extremely rare that I read any post like this so it's nice to read something interesting and very open minded it's been a long time good job and thanks again.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
409
Reaction score
228
Location
ohio
Offline
Afternoon SR,


It's been a while since I've done a truly meaningful deep dive post because I've lost touch an excitement with Saints football. Doing the podcast drained me more than I realized and it's occured to me I'm most comfortable right here on Saints Report. As long as I was here I did these just for the love of it, but eventually it turned into a grind and became less fun.

Disclaimer: Very rarely will you see me say things like "I went back and watched the tape" etc. I'm not a scout and don't portray myself to be one that's my good friend @NOFALCONS10. Much like the 2016 review I did, I don't grade the players.... I grade the logic behind the picks and try to describe the vision for the player. When you approach it that way it takes the "if only we'd drafted this player" thought process out of it. I'm very malleable and hardly know much about the specific players(I'll have a favorite or two), but once they're drafted I try to digest as much about them as I can to create a clear picture.

With that being said.... Lets jump into this.


I gave the overall draft a B+ and it's because I agree with Loomis. The Saints didn't have very many holes to fill and teams picking late in the draft are usually picking there because they already have a good team. In other words there are not many roster spots for a rookie to come in and take hold of. Good teams usually have the luxury of bringing rookies along slowly and gradually ask them to do more, while not so good teams usually have to throw their picks into the 10ft end of the pool and see if they can tread water. Some guys turn out fine, some are ruined before their career even gets going. The Saints haven't been in that predicament since 2016 so everyone should be happy that this team doesn't have to force players to start and contribute right away. Finally, we didn't trade away any future picks, and that's what kept it a B+ and not just a B. I enjoy when the draft falls such a way that keeps the organization from being overly aggressive.


Round 1 - Payton Turner - DE - Houston *Player comparison in Davenport but likely to be better*

What I liked about the pick: The Planet theory has long been a rule that Payton's mentor Bill Parcells abided by. Big People, beat up little people and they stay healthier too! The Saints stuck to their MO and drafted a guy that fits their prototype for success. You simply cannot team 35inch arms, a 7foot wingspan and a high motor. When SP suggested that Turner had 1st round traits he was talking about his athleticism, work ethic, relatively clean medical history, and clean background. The biggest knock was his lack of 1st round production. It simply wasn't there, but do a deep dive and you discover that the young man was miscast as a DT for much of his college career. Only in his senior season did he play DE and looked good doing it.

Also, Don't let anyone tell you DE wasn't a position of need.

After losing Trey Hendrickson, watching Cam Jordan decline due to being on the wrong side of 30, and seeing Marcus Davenport take a step back in year 3 - DE was very much a position of need as it has a lot of questions with no immediate answers. Does Jordan return to glory and how much longer will his contract value match his production? Can Davenport finally put it together? Who replaces Hendrickson? Will Carl Granderson continue to grow? Even if he isn't an elite passrusher as a rookie, he should be a solid run defender on the edge right out of the box. That's something that Granderson or Hendrickson couldn't give you last year when Davenport went down. As far as the player himself you've seen the RAS score so athletically he's capable of producing, and he's got a great teacher in Ryan Nielsen to develop him but what I appreciate the most about him is his maturity coming in. He filled out his 6'6 frame from 215 ish as a frshman to 290 at one point and then dropped to 270 in his final year. Do you know how much effort, dedication to your craft, and passion that takes? He was also a team captain and well respected in the lockeroom and was named to the AAC honor roll last year.

What I didn't like about the pick: Leverage, to me, is something that if a player struggles with it coming out of college he'll struggle with it in the pro's. It's like a CB that struggles getting his head around in college. Typically when he gets to the pro's that issue persists. Turner plays high and that's going to limit him. I've seen it suggested that he can play inside, and I'm sure he can, but not until he fixes his leverage. Standing straight up like he does limits his effectiveness.

Payton has a clear path to snaps as a 1st rounder but we also know this team isnt' afraid to give those snaps away to a better performing player. Carl Granderson is his chief competition and right now a more polished passrusher so he'll have his work cut out for him.

Year 1 Ceiling -Primary 3rd down rusher
Year 1 Floor - Backup Base DE with ability to set edge/defend run


Round 2 - Pete Werner - LB - OSU *Safest Pick*

What I liked about the pick: So as much as I appreciate prototypes at DE, is as much as a I loathe them at LB. It's the one position where I feel as though athleticism could potentially give the player a high ceiling but if smarts/intelligence isn't there it means the floor is super low. Chris Borland (49ers lb) if you guys remember him was midly athletic, almost the exact opposite of Stephone Anthony but was the better player. Linebackers more than anything need to be going the right direction when the play is snapped. No matter how fast you are it won't matter if you can't read the field. Werner is athletic but he's lauded more for being a leader (theme with this draft) and constantly being around the ball. What's Payton's old mantra....Do your job? That's effectively the type of player Werner is. He has the athletic profile that offers upside but his floor is high enough that he'll likely come in and carve out a niche year one. I don't feel like I need to do as much explaining on this pick because everyone knew we needed a linebacker. I will however say this, the Saints will not draft smaller LB's. If you want to know their value for undersized LB's look at what they payed to get Kwon Alexander. Unless the LB has overwhelming traits that make up for lack of size (Like Vilma) they will steer clear of those guys in early rounds. The Patrick Queens and JOK's of the world are and will always be a pipe dream for the Saints. Werner has that OSU pedigree so you know there is a bit of maturity with him coming into the league and you also know that the game won't be too big for him as a rookie. He's also far more explosive in the lowerbody than the guy he's replacing in Anzalone.

What I didn't like about the pick: I'm not so sure our LB coach has done enough to prove he's capable of developing players. There wasn't much development relative to Baun (though he was raw as an offball LB) last year and coincidentally our LB play took a step back in the 1st half of the season and took us having to trade for Kwon to settle things down. If Mike Nolan were still here I'd feel much more comfortable but again, it helps that Werner has a solid floor as a rookie.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter in Nickel next to Davis
Year 1 Floor - 2 down LB and ST's contributor (because Baun takes a leap)


Round 3 - Paulson Adebo - CB - Stanford

What I liked about the pick: Giving Kris Richard a piece of raw clay to work with and coach up. One of Adebo's biggest drawbacks (hasn't played football in over a year)could also be looked at as a significant strength because there shouldn't be a ton of bad habits to coach away. He's thickly built and his body type reminds me of Prince Amukamara. Currently the Saints have veteran defensive back field that has seen all of the players in the system for less than 3 years (Malcolm Jenkins withstanding). If there was any position the Saints could take rookie lumps it was at corner. Adebo comes into one of the best secondaries in the league along with one of the better secondary coaching staffs. I'm not sure if it was @NOFALCONS10 or the scouting service I used that turned me on to this trait but CB's with good tackling #'s are usually good corners and Adebo is a willing participant. He's tough and at the catch point and listening to him talk gives me the impression he has a short memory. A quick walk down memory lane will remind you that Ken Crawley,Marshon Lattimore, and Eli Apple all have struggled with their confidence at one point. I simply don't get that impression from Adebo and he'll need that as the #2 CB across from Lattimore. His ball production in college suggest he should be able to take advantage of teams throwing away from Lattimore and that's what we've needed around these parts.

What I didn't like about the pick: As mentioned above having not played meaningful snaps in a year is worrisome as is him not having access to coaches early in the offseason (based on what we've heard from the NFLPA and Saints players). It wouldn't be that big of an issue if #2 CB wasn't such a huge hole fill (though I'm pretty confident in Patrick Robinson who was damn near shut down in the games he had to play across from Lattimore) but Adebo hitting the ground running and staying healthy is imperative to him developing the way he needs to as a rookie. His fundamentals need work and like most guys with ball skills there's also a propensity to give up plays to the offense. Good safety help behind him should help with that but it's something to be noted. I'd have also preferred a CB within the top 50 picks but alas, the Saints had a price they were willing to pay and decided to not go over it. That level of discipline is why they've been a Top 10 drafting team since Ireland arrived.

Year 1 Ceiling - Starter at LCB
Year 1 Floor - Dime Back (sub package CB on passing downs)


Round 4 - Ian Book - QB - Notre Dame *Chase Daniels...The Sequel*

What I liked about the pick: Drafting a QB every year is good business. I'll never rag on taking one, especially when said player is around 6'0 with nearly 10inch hands a has what looks to be a birthmark on his face. In all seriousness I can't argue with another player representing the theme of this draft in them having leadership skills and above average athleticism at their position. He won't do anything but hold a clip board year 1 and I'm not super keen on it but I've seen people suggest he's a Julian Edelman type that could eventually shift to WR. I'm not buying it right now but not going to say that's a dumb call either. What I do know is Drew had some insight into the player a bit as he was able to watch him a few times last year and get to know him a bit since he's calling ND games this year. He's more mobile as a QB than say Winston and a more natural passer than Taysom so there's a good blend of traits there to coach up. He's not as good as either player at their respective talents but again, there's something to be developed there.

What I didn't like about the pick: He's gunshy and Payton is a notoriously aggressive coach. Part of what made his and Drew's marriage so special is that both are aggressive guys by nature. You don't hear Drew described a gunslinger much but that's EXACTLY what he was. Also unlike Drew he hasn't figured out throwing windows/lanes to make up for him being 6'0. Drew's neck was always craned upward because he couldn't see but he'd throw to spots on the field where the route should be based on coverage. Rather than do that, Ian will run at this point in his career and we don't know yet if his scramble ability will translate to the NFL.

Year 1 Ceiling - ClipBoard
Year 1 Floor - Clipboard


Round 6 Landon Young - T - Kentucky

What I liked about the pick: The entire left side of the line is an injury waiting to happen at some point in the season. Armstead is in the final year of his contract and they've yet to extend Ram. Drafting a player that could give you a bit of room in the future as well as the Saints success with drafting offensive lineman gives good vibes. Their biggest miss was Rick Leonard and it's forgiveable when you look at our overall draft history as it pertains to that position group. The best thing about Young is the # of reps and experience he got at T (started 30 games) and the level of competition he faced (SEC). He also comes in with the right frame of mind and interest in playing any position for the Saints. Position flexibitlity is one of the easiest ways to carve our a spot on this team as the more a player can do the more value he brings to the team. In Landon's case it's his quickest route to landing a spot on the 53 man roster.

What I didn't like about the pick: Dan Roushar, the guy responsible for the development of our Olineman the last 3-4 years has been moved to TE's coach and running game coordinator. That's good for Roushar but how does that change the dynamic and development of players in the oline room? Granted you've got Armstead, Peat, and Ram all as 3+ year veterans to help out but it's not their job to coach players up either, so I'm curious how the new Oline coach does as far as development. Otherwise there's very little to not like as he's a 6th round pick and expectations shouldn't be high anyway.

Year 1 ceiling - Jumbo TE or 6th OL
Year 1 Floor - Practice Squad


Round 7 Kawaan Baker - WR - South Alabama **Potentially Willie Snead w/ Speed**

What I liked about the pick: It's a high upside pick and exactly the type of guy you draft in the 7th round. If you're going to take a flyer on a guy late he better be athletic because you want to give him as clear of a path to making a roster spot as possible. His lower body explosiveness is on the high end and it makes me think about how SP wanted TQS to work on his lower body explosiveness in his rookie year because his "acceleration was like a Tesla". He won't have that problem after posting an almost 11ft Broad, 4.41 40, and 39.5 inch vert. Hell I didn't even mention the 10inch hands. Baker's got outside potential and that's where Payton expects him to start working from but I feel he'd be a terror in the slot at some point. Fast enough to run away from LB's but big enough to body smaller slot CB's. Also one has to take into consideration that Tre'Quan is in the final year of his contract so much like the Landon Young pick it gives you a little future flexibility based on how he develops. However, unlike Landon Young I feel excellent about the coaching he's going to receive from Curtis Johnson. The guy's a whiz at developing receivers and Baker has a ton of traits that could see him latch on at the position.

What I didn't like about the pick: Nothing he's a 7th round pick <shrugs> I've read he's had some drops but that's something that can be worked on....ask Marques Colston. Also he'll be making a significant jump in level of competition he's used to facing. There will be a learning curve.

Year 1 Ceiling - 5th or 6th WR/ST's contributor
Year 1 floor - Practice Squad


Summary:

This class is loaded with potential and I see at least 4 of the 6 developing because I'm confident in the coaching at the positions and the path that they have to playing time. Those 4 would be Turner, Adebo, Book, and Baker. Of those 4 Turner has the star potential but Adebo is in the best predicament with regards to surrouding talent, coaching, and expectations. I am definitely not down on Werner by any stretch of the imagination but Michael Hodges hasn't given me much to be excited about with regards to coaching up talent, but I think he can effectively replace Anzalone year 1 so long as he can beat out Baun (if that's his direct competition).


Enjoy the read: Who Dat!!
I agree that big men dont get injured as much. Look at "short" Sheldon Rankins who couldnt get out of the trainer room.
 

Quietstorm1

Pro-Bowler
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
1,031
Reaction score
461
Location
Spain
Offline
He won't do anything but hold a clip board year 1 and I'm not super keen on it but I've seen people suggest he's a Julian Edelman type that could eventually shift to WR. I'm not buying it right now but not going to say that's a dumb call either.
This is something I had not considered. What is the likelyhood that he was drafted to play a position other than QB? That isn't an unheard of switch.
 

sfidc3

Pro-Bowler
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Messages
3,976
Reaction score
4,840
Offline
Great post EJW....I learn something every day....
 
OP
ELLIASJWILLIAMS

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

More than 15K posts served!
VIP Contributor
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
17,185
Reaction score
30,895
Offline
Going to drop a couple Bonus PDF scouting reports from the scouting service I use.

One of them is Payton Turners, that a few have asked for and seen but I’m going to also include Ian Books scouting report as well.


Thanks everyone for the appreciation, will get a chance to respond later tonight. At work kind of getting things done on the day. Later!
 

Attachments

  • 608894b61e8a763fd5c99398_CFM21_DE_Turner_Payton.pdf
    358.6 KB · Views: 63
  • 6025e8114d22fbd2f63915c0_CFM21_QB_Book_Ian.pdf
    357.3 KB · Views: 44
Last edited:

St4ever

Hall-of-Famer
Gold VIP Contributor
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
3,869
Reaction score
3,384
Age
58
Location
LaPlace LA.
Offline
Great rad man!

our history with forth rounders makes it easier to understand Books. A QB of any caliber would of cost us in cap space. Books on the other hand only cost us a pick we generally have bad luck with any way.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Users who are viewing this thread

 

New Orleans Saints Twitter Feed

 

Headlines

Top Bottom