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2009 NFL Saints Draft and Personnel Moves

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Posted 05-03-2009 at 10:06 AM by jeanpierre

Saw the thread entitled ‘Meaningless Draft Grades’ while waiting on call at the office and the noodle began to percolate...

Grading a draft is part of being a football fan; it is an example of our western culture's checks and balances, along with continuing to buy the Saints Product based on a team's performance...

However, draft grades are not final, static; rather, they change over time and are dynamic.

This is what makes being an NFL fan, well, fun...

Now, the Saints 2009 NFL Draft is an example of how a draft has several components.

There were the actual rookie selections; then, players acquired with traded picks. All during this is where various philosophies on acquiring players are on full display...

This first part deals with the players...

Round 1

Malcolm Jenkins was the right pick.

I wanted Clay Matthews for many reasons, primarily I believe in suffocating an offense at the line of scrimmage and of admiration for Matthews' path to the draft.

Nevertheless, the Saints did fill a primary need with the top rated defensive back in the draft at pick No. 14, at a premium position, no less. Jenkins does play faster than his measurables and has a history as a winner.

Two questions to be answered are 'has he reached his ceiling and can he consistently make plays at the NFL level?'

Round 2

The trade for Shockey, without a doubt, had a rough start with the Saints; who is responsible for said start is for another thread; but I liked, and still like the move.

Shockey is an All-Pro Tight End who brings passion to an incorporated sport; as he acclimates, expect him to meet Saints Fans expectations and his personality to have a great fit with South Louisiana...

Round 3

With the trade of this pick, the Saints get Jonathan Vilma who is a Rookie of the Year Winner, ProBowl alternate, and former round 1 pick.

Plus, Vilma stayed dedicated to a team that wanted him; and, though still returning from a season ending injury, he in on nearly every tackle and rarely gets beat out of position.

This pick and last year's R4 has definitely vindicated the trade for the Saints front office.

Round 4

Chip Vaughn is a football player. He was a top-5 rated Safety from Wake Forest entering the draft, only playing the position since 2007.

Consider that previous statement.

Now, consider he is a physical, fundamental tackler who is still learning the position. I really, really liked this pick. In addition, he is a former wide receiver, which is something that jumped out to me.

Stanley Arnoux was the Saints other Round 4 selection; with all the draft boards and scenarios in an NFL Draft Room, I questioned if the Saints were looking at Wake’s top rated players and not the main board?!? Not sure if Aaron Curry had as much impact on his film, but he did make an impression at the combine. Should he make the team, he definitely will be there with Guido Merkins in the All-Name Saints as well as be a bayouland favorite.

Yet, still available were Lawrence Sidbury, Shawn Nelson, or DJ Moore. Why didn’t the Saints select a player with a higher ceiling that would also provide cap relief?

Even Jason Phillips, rated higher than Arnoux at his position, was still available before Arnoux.

Would have preferred Sidbury or Walker before Arnoux.

Round 5

The slotted pick was also part of the Shockey trade; and you know what the worst part of all this is?

The Saints could have had Shockey in the 2002 Draft, but took D'onte Stallworth one pick ahead of him.

Lay blame at Haslett and that front office for costing the franchise an additional R2 and R5 pick...

Regardless of hindsight, I hated the 2002 pick and regretted not taking Shockey even then...

More on paying for it later…

Okay, it’s later and the WTF moment of the Saints draft...

The Saints trade up and select Thomas Morstead, esquire for a 2009 R7 pick and a 2010 R5 pick...

If this was a need pick, then pick a punter in round 7 are get a competent free agent...

Morstead, esq better be able to really make an impact as well as lay down the lumber with his size to trade two picks for a punter…

Even Coach Payton did not seem that compelling in his post draft comments regarding the move…

Still on the board were Vance Walker, Myron Pryor, and George Bussey…

Merde! Merde! Merde!

Round 6

Well we paid for it later, but to trade back into last year’s draft and grab Arrington still looks promising...

Factor in, he’s had a year to learn the playbook, acclimate to the life, and position himself to jump Meachem, possibly Devery, on the depth chart, this was a savvy move...

So this is your opportunity Adrian Arrington.

Round 7

What could the Saints do with a Round 7 pick?

Oh yeah, add a five and get a punter cause lightning surely could strike again, could it?

All criticism and praise being equal, the Saints have a good haul of solid players: Malcolm Jenkins, Jeremy Shockey, Jonathan Vilma, Chip Vaughn, Stanley Arnoux, Shockey, Thomas Morstead esq, Adrian Arrington and Morestead esq.

And three of those players have a year already as Saints, two of which are seasoned, entering the prime of their careers.

So at this point the Saints Front Office have a B for their effort...

But there were other needs from this draft and that was pass rush and cap relief...

More on that later...
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  1. Old Comment
    hagan714's Avatar
    nice write up JP. Like you I am not going into the Shockey trade just yet. His play will effect my view on this draft and what we miss out on in round 5 next year. So i will let his play do the talking.
    Posted 05-04-2009 at 06:41 PM by hagan714 hagan714 is offline

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