*************2016 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.12 Sheldon Rankins, DE/DT, Louisville

Ultimately I like this pick because Rankins is a very good talent at a decent value. But the Saints theoretically could have gone with a guy slightly lower on their board because there are 30-50 draftable defensive tackles in this draft.

B-

2.47 Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

Thomas is a great value here, but I think the team had 10 other needs.

B-

2.61 Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State 

Now this is a pick I can get behind. Bell could have gone 30 picks sooner and wouldn't have surprised anyone.

A

OVERALL GRADE: B

The Saints got good value on their picks, found two or three starters, and got better on defense. I think they will still get exposed, but maybe not as bad.


*************2015 NFL DRAFT GRADES************

1.13 Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Why? Peat is not a great RT prospect and they have a young left tackle talent. He will find a way onto the team somewhere, but the Saints cannot take luxury picks here when they are the oldest team in the league and arguably 3-wins worse than last year in a division that is getting better.

C-

1.31 Stephone Anthony, MLB, Clemson

So the Saints traded Jimmy Graham for the 3rd best MLB in the draft? This realistically could mean the end of an era for the team. It feels like the front office is rebuilding two years before they should be. You don't trade one of the two best tight ends in the league a year after giving him a big deal to get this guy.

F-

2.44 Hau'oli Kikaha, DE/LB, Washington

No complaining on this one. Kikaha has a ton of potential and the value is pretty fair. He does have some injury concerns which bumped him but his potential is there.

B

3.75 Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State

The Saints front office definitely is building for the future which is great- except when you have a rapidly closing window. I won't hurt the grade too much because Grayson is a fair value here with some good potential. 

B

3.78 P.J. Williams, CB, FSU

Williams slides in to be a great Nickel/Dime corner/safety for the team and is a great value here.

B+

5.148 Davis Tull, LB, Tenn-Chatt

5.154 Tyeler Davison, DE/DT, Fresno

5.167 Damian Swann, CB, Georgia

7.230 Marcus Murphy, RB, Mizzou

OVERALL GRADE: D

Other than the fact that they had a lot of picks, it is hard to like this draft. They traded their best offensive weapon to the Saints and then grabbed a whole bunch of picks that won't contribute too much next year. I don't hate the draft as a collection, but the team went all in on picks in one of the worst draft classes out there.



*************2014 NFL DRAFT GRADES************
 

1.20 Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

I like the pick, but I really don't love it. Drew Brees is the type of QB that makes receivers. Not the other way around. I think the team would have been better off getting better on defense while taking one of the 300 other receivers in round 2. With that said the team did get a lethal weapon for Brees to play with.

B-

2.58 Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

Baptiste has the size to be a stud, and the Saints need some guys like that. 

B+

4.126 Khairi Fortt, LB, Cal

5.167 Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama

5.169 Ronald Powell, LB, Florida

6.202 Tavon Rooks, OT, Kansas State


OVERALL GRADE: B

No surprises from this draft. The Saints like to nail a big playmaker early, and then add depth throughout. They got a quick receiver with great route skills, and then went defensive depth the rest of the way.


*************2013 NFL DRAFT GRADES************


1.15 Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Saints needed a lot of help from this draft, and they got the hands down safest defensive back. Vaccaro fills a need, and is an amazing value here.

A

3.75 Terron Armstead, OT, Ark-Pine Bluff

Armstead is the freak of nature tackle that blew it up at the combine, but he luckily was drafted where he should have been. The Saints are getting a great deal on a player that could end up being a stud.

A

3.82 John Jenkins, NT, Georgia

The Saints grabbed their NT for their new 3-4 defense. I love this pick a lot.

A

5.144 Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma

6.183 Rufus Johnson, DE/LB, Tarleton State


OVERALL GRADE: A-

Outside of the fact that this team is missing on pass rushing linebackers, this was a perfect draft. The team landed on one instant starter, and up to four starters going into 2014. The team still needs a ton of talent to have a 'good' defense, but this is no longer a defense to sleep on.

 

 *************2012 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 

3.89 Akiem Hicks, DT/NT, Regina (CA)

Hicks was a fast rising defensive tackle that some thought would be a 4th round sleeper. The Saints got him in the late 3rd which isn't too bad.

B

4.122 Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin

Toon is a guy that has a lot to like including a great route running ability and a family history in the league.

B+

5.162 Corey White, S, Samford

6.179 Andrew Tiller, G, Syracuse

7.234 Marcel Jones, OT, Nebraska


OVERALL GRADE: D

Just like the Raiders grade, I do feel bad since the Saints had to wait awhile to pick, but there isn't too much to love with this draft. They ended up with a single starter, a receiver with some potential, and some other guys. But at the end of the day almost every pick was a reach.



*************2011 NFL DRAFT GRADES************ 
 
 Picks

1.24 Cameron Jordan, DE, California

Whenever a guy falls this far I start to wonder what bad news about the guy is going to come out, because Jordan should never have gotten past the Chargers (or about 23 other teams).

A
 
1.28 Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

I really like Ingram, and I don't understand why a team would pass on him. With that said, he wasn't worth a future 1st and a 2nd. Ingram as a Saint could be the next Adrian Peterson, but the coaching staff is known for ruining talent in this department. If the team plays Ingram for 20 carries one game and then puts in Chris Ivory for the full load the next week, then Ingram's talent will be wasted. If Ingram gets 20 carries a game and has guys built around him then this pick will be worth it.

B+
 
3.72 Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

Is Wilson that good in the 4-3? No. But he was worth a 1st round grade for a 3-4 team, and is a steal of a player in the 4-3 either inside or outside.

A
 
3.88 Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

Another steal here. Patrick really shined under Charlie Strong this season, and could end up being a great overall value here.

A
 
7.226 Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh

Every single year there is a top-20 quality pass rushing defensive end that gets hurt and falls deep into the draft. Last year Greg Hardy was that guy and was taken in the 6th round. He had 3 sacks, 2 FF and a safety caused as a backup for the Panthers. Expect Romeus to have similar potential.

A
 
7.243 Nate Bussey, LB, Illinois

Eh. I would have preferred to see the team take a receiver, a speedy rusher (to replace Bush), or an offensive lineman.

C
 
Draft Grade: A-

The Saints made a ton of great picks and addressed a bunch of their needs, but they lost their 2012 1st round pick. They addressed a lot of their problems, but I'm not sold that the coaching staff utilizes Ingram the right way. I'm a little nitpicky, but an A- grade is still one of the best (and it could be the best if Ingram is utilized).

New Grade: A-

I honestly am ok with the original analysis on this pick. The team got a ton of value, but lost 2012 value as well. If the team gives the rock to Mark Ingram consistently then he is a steal, but if they plug him in like the rest of the rushers then he was a waste.