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

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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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!!
 

syracuse saint

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Great analysis as always. I'm interested in your thoughts on our LB coach. Of all the positions that we should invest in coaches who can develop young talent, I can't think of a more critical position than LB. Why do you think the staff is investing in this coach? We have proven that we will pay to have the best positions coaches in the league.
 

Groovepro

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I agree with almost everything you pointed out.

Turner does play high and I had commented earlier that I was impressed how he was able to muscle through Guards playing so high. He can be coached for pad level and leverage...love his motor. I have said for a while we are going for a faster, attacking D and not prototype BIG NT's, etc. He fits that mold/vision.

Book, what I like is his feet...he can be a bit "footsy" at the same time though. I think he is coachable and some intangibles built into his DNA that are good foundations for what CSP likes in a QB. He has a long windup and release, but all coachable/fixable. Some of the schemes were bland and not really great play calls for situations and his OL didn't do him any favors and if was uber aggressive would have been an INT machine. I like he can keep plays alive and he could utilize his pocket awareness and feet in the same way Brees did. Brees could run and is overlooked as a runner in college. He took his feet and that ability and translated it into the pocket. There are shades of that being a reality with Book.

Great job, brotha!!
 

guillermo

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Great read as always Elias.

I am not the one who ranks players before the draft or give grades after. I follow some college games, with the intention of discovering prospects I like and can fit the saints.

Before giving my analysis I have to confess I have seen full games of Ian Book, Pete Werner and Paulson Adebo.

So, if I have to use only one word to describe this draft class it will be: UNISPIRING. And this may not be a bad thing at all.

Before and after the draft you have alway to consider your roster, and how the new players will fit. I am not thinking about starting or back-up positions, but the role they may play to contribute with the team.

We drafted at #28, so the numbers are telling us that only 4 teams are better than us.

We ended the season with a loaded roster, filled with veterans and a very complicated cap situation. We were able find a short them solution, but the lack of cap flexibility will last at least one more year.

I call this draft uninspiring because no player brings hope. We didn't get a new quarterback, receiver, or defensive player that we would consider will be a difference maker next year. That is not bad considering the roster we currently have. We only have two big holes at cornerback and linebacker.

Even with losing so many veterans, we still have solid depth. We may not need new players, what we need is that the current players take the step needed. For example, I think someone in the roster can fill the void from Emmanuel Sanders leaving.

So what we did in this draft? We went shopping, we bought insurance. Nothing to be excited about, but we got players we really need, with hopes they will transcend to find a role in our roster on Sundays.

I may not be fond of specific players, or I would have even preferred the saints to go on a different path during the draft, but I fully understand the decisions made.

Finally, I will have to say to be patient, I don't know how well will perform next year, but I think we will have a very similar approach on free agency and the draft, building depth and hoping we will get a shiny toy that gives us hope to be better.
 

truthbtold

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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!!
Glad you are back in stride Ellias. I was worried for a minute because I hadn't seen you on WDC, but I know you are resilient. Thanks for the post!!!
 

rlpmd

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this draft will be the curse of potential and how needs were proritized, taking Payton because he would not come back to us is a truism. We had so much NEED and got less than we could have been gifted and really screwed the late rounds and UDFA. Lots to salvage and someone clue me in as to how we are going to find needed FA money to fill the real holes that persist post draft. Ain't no one sorry for us and nobody gonna help with a dumb trade given the tight money cap everywhere. Show me the money, so we can spend it.
 

WCoastSaintsFan

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Great read. I think the team emphasized intelligent and coachable players with leadership qualities over experience, college stats and highlights this year. It remains to be seen how it'll pay off, but I like the strategy when the team lost such a huge leader when Drew retired.
 
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This is how you review a draft. Informative, well thought out and productive. Critical where it's warranted, but does it respectfully with a positive outlook. Shows opinion and presents it as such. Doesn't tout his track record, but rather let's his effort speak for itself. Even gave credit to others.

Great writeup @ELLIASJWILLIAMS , very well done.
 
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NatureBoy

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Sean always talks about his “vision for the player” (as it pertains to contributing to the team). Your approach is spot on. Well done.
 

ndcc

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EJW: Outstanding write-up... as usual. That took a lot of time, thought, and insight! :9:

I’m most excited about Adebo.

If you extrapolate his INT’s and PBU’s based on number of games played... he’s a legit 1st round talent.

Again, fantastic write up, Ellias.

:gosaints:
 

IceHot

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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.
Sometimes I wonder why people say that and then dont followup by judging the draft from 2 years back.

 
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Optimistic Ozzy

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Baker will make Smith expendable after this year. And/Or, he steps in as Hill's replacement in case of an injury. I seem him making the 53.
 

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