Saints Draft Recap

Monday, April 27, 2009

There is nothing more worthless than trying to grade a draft. There is just no way of knowing how a player will pan out. There are so many variables both on and off the field that affect how a college player reacts to being in the NFL. Why so many people spend so much time obsessing over this every year is beyond me.

So, without further adieu, here is my opinion of the Saints draft..

1st Round - Malcolm Jenkins.
Honestly, if the Saints hadn't picked him here, I think my conversion to one of the DC/Baltimore NFL teams would have been pretty much a done deal. While some question his speed, there's really no doubt that Jenkins is a ball player. He was the best corner in the draft and the Saints needed a corner.

Sounds simple enough, but rumors floated in that the Saints were considering taking a running back. While for most teams this would be an easily dismissed rumor, with the Saints history of stellar draft moves, such a completely dumb ass move could not be taken for granted. I got no problem with Wells, but the Saints offense is not the problem. I'd love to have a premier running back, but the combo of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas worked pretty well last season. I also think Thomas has a ton of potential especially in our offense.

No, grabbing a running back with our first pick when we desperately need help in the secondary would have been silly. I could have easily forgiven picking up an inside linebacker or even another defensive tackle to pair with Ellis, but a RB would have been unforgivable.
So back to the actual pick. Again, Jenkins was the best corner in the draft, but teams waffled because of slow times at the combine. Why teams throw out four years of production for one day at a combine is also beyond me. But, if it weren't for the slow time, there is no doubt he would have gone earlier and the Saints couldn't have grabbed him. Everyone else's loss is our gain.

2nd & 3rd round - The Saints traded their picks for Jonathan Vilma and Jeremy Shockey. While Shockey's been injured, I think these were good deals especially Vilma. These three guys alone make me feel like the Saints draft should be an A or a B. Getting a guy as good as Jenkins along with a couple of Pro-Bowlers at their respective position is a pretty good draft in my eyes. Hopefully Shockey can stay on the field this season.

4th round - Chip Vaughn and Stanley Arnoux
It's tough for me to get too worked up on second day picks. Sure, great players are to be had, but I can honestly forgive a team for missing on one of these picks. With that said, I think the Saints got two solid prospects in Chip Vaughn and Stanley Arnoux. The film on Chip Vaughn looks solid. He's definitley not afraid to lay a hit on someone. With him and Jenkins, our secondary will look a lot better the next few years.

Arnoux was a bit of a head scratcher at first, but from everything I can gather, he is a good prospect. His coach seemed to think he was just as good as first rounder Curry. We will see if that holds true, but it shouldn't be too hard to knock Scott Shanle to the bench.

5th round - Thomas Morstead
Now this one was just bizarre. Sure, it looks like this guy is a good punter, but moving up to grab him just seemed strange. I have to believe there is someone out there they could have gotten without having to move up. Still, with the difficulties our kicking game has had, I can see us trying to get a good punter. Just strange for a team to trade up to get him.

So overall, with the inclusion of Vilma and Shockey, I give Saints a B+ for the draft. We'll see how well that holds up over the next season.

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