New Orleans Saints 2017 Draft Review

1st/11 Marshon Lattimore, CB

Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 193 School: Ohio State

After giving up 274 receiving yards per game the Saints could not stand pat on their secondary as they tried to trade for Malcolm Butler. Concerns about Lattimore’s hamstring injuries caused the top cornerback in the class to slide. Lattimore did have an injury free 2016 and if he can continue to stay healthy the Saints have a quick twitch corner who has the elite speed to run with any receiver.

 

1st/32 Ryan Ramczyk, OT

Ht.: 6’6 Wt.: 310 School: Wisconsin

Curious pick for the Saints taking an offensive tackle when they had so many needs at other positions. But they have been building up a big offense line and with the signing of Adrian Peterson they’ll likely run the ball more than they have in the past. Ramczyk has talent but will likely be pegged at right tackle competition with veteran Zach Streif and help provide depth with Armstead’s injury issues.

 

2nd/42 Marcus Williams, S

Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 202 School: Utah

Finishing dead last in passing yards given up will make a team take two defensive backs in the first fifty picks. Williams gives the Saints a true center field safety who has excellent range and instincts allowing the cornerbacks to be more aggressive.  New Orleans does play significant snaps in big nickel which will allow both Vonn Bell and Kenny Vaccaro to play more underneath coverage that suits their skill set.

 

3rd/67 Alvin Kamara, RB

Ht.: 5-10 Wt.: 214 School: Tennessee

Don’t let the signing of Adrian Peterson fool you, the Saints under Sean Payton will always play multiple backs and always need some to be a weapon in the passing game. Kamara was added to fill the receiving back role that Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush have had in this offense. A polished route runner in college Kamara can fill that role and provide some upside to take on a bigger role in the future.

 

3rd/76 Alex Anzalone, LB

Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 241 School: Florida

With good instincts and the ability to come downhill to make stops, Anzalone has the makings of a ten-year middle linebacker. The problem is Anzalone has struggled to stay healthy with multiple shoulder injuries along with a broken arm. If Anzolne can put the injuries behind him the Saints could get a new inside linebacker or they could end up wasting a third round pick on someone they can’t count.

 

3rd/103 Trey Hendrickson, DE

Ht.: 6’4 Wt.: 266 School: Florida Atlantic

Hendrickson is a pure speed ball off the edge using his speed to beat offensive tackles to the edge and then uses his size to create power when they counter him. New Orleans needs pass rushing help and lacks any form of explosiveness off the edge. The door is open for Hendrickson to earn a starting spot opposite of Cam Jordon.

 

6th/196 Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE

Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 253 School: Miami

A classic boom or bust prospect Muhammad showed during his time at Miami that he can use his athletic ability to get after the quarterback while also being able to drop into coverage. Muhammad was kicked out of Miami for receiving improper benefits and chose to enter the draft. If he can stay out of trouble and regain his success at Miami the Saints could have another explosive pass rusher.

 

Best Pick

Lattimore (first round)

 

Upside Pick

Muhammad (sixth round)

 

Overall Thoughts

New Orleans loaded up with picks after the Brandin Cooks trade and used those picks to help a defense that cost them too many games. Big things are expected out of this group as all four defenders drafted could have an opportunity to start.

Grade: B

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