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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; OK, as I’ve calmed down from my CB temper-tantrum I looked a lot closer at this draft. I’ve seen a lot of grades ranging from F to B+. Most of the bad grades come from sites that simply looked at ...

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Old 04-26-2004, 12:49 PM   #1
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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

OK, as I’ve calmed down from my CB temper-tantrum I looked a lot closer at this draft. I’ve seen a lot of grades ranging from F to B+. Most of the bad grades come from sites that simply looked at Needs versus Draftees. Since we didn’t get a CB, we had a bad draft? I don’t think so. We needed a shut-down CB, MLB, WR, DT, FB. There were only two true SDCB’s in this draft and both were gone.
I gave a letter deduction for not drafting a CB, but I can understand the logic of not reaching for a need.
So other than no CB, how’d we do?

1-Will Smith-We got the top DE in this draft. A true playmaker and a steal at 18. I have no problem with it.

2A-Devery Henderson-Fastest WR in the draft, with huge upside. I’d have preferred a LB here but we addressed our WR issues with an A-player.

2B-Courtney Watson-At first I was disappointed, until I read some more about this guy. I didn’t know some scouts had him rated as the #1 MLB in the draft, even over Vilma. Many others had him rated as the 2nd best. We now have a true MLB, who can also play OLB and we can move Grant outside if necessary.

3-Traded for a 2005 2nd rounder. I guess a 2nd is better than a 3rd? Good long term move, but frustrated me. I want it all, and I want it now!

5-Rodney Leisle-A good run stuffing DT who grades out very well as a two-gapper. Some had him as a 3rd rounder so I guess I’m fine with it. We wanted a run stuffing DT, we got him. I also like the fact that he answers questions with a hell-yeah or hell-no. I don’t know why I like that, I just like it.

5-Mike Karney-Many had him as the best true FB in this draft. We wanted a FB and landed the #1 FB on our list.

7-Colby Bockwoldt- I don’t know crap about him. Appears to be a solid project and a very good special teamer. Its sad to say but he may push one of our back-up LB’s for a roster spot this year.

So to recap…
CB-didn’t get one, pisssed me off!
MLB-Got one of, if not THE best, in this draft.
FB-Got the best one in this draft.
DT (run stuffer) – Got a good one with a “let me at em� attitude who was projected higher.
WR-Got the fastest WR in the draft with good WR skills.
DE-Got the best one in the draft. In the immortal words of Jim Finks, “NEVER pass on a quality big man�

If we didn’t need a CB, this was an A-plus draft. But with the letter grade deduction I give it a B-plus.
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:52 PM   #2
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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

I agree, Danno. I think we had a good , maybe excellent draft when viewed by the players we took and not by the positions that need help. What is so infuruating is that if Haslet & Co. would fix the positions of need during the initial FA period, then a draft like this would make them look smart.

Another aspect of this draft was that we cannot now rule out a trade from at least one of the positions we felt needed no help at all. It\'s highly possible that a WR or D lineman could be on his way out in exchange for help at a need position. We\'ll just have to see about that though.

In the end this site and others have countless AMATEUR scouts and GMs who think they know better than the people actually in the positions. That being so, there\'s always going to be people upset about the draft no matter who was picked. The draft is not a science, but an art and all the picks are debatable and risky. It\'ll be 3 to 5 years before we truly know whether this was a good draft or not, but we can already guess as to what kind of offseason we\'ve had. With CB and LB minimally addressed our D better hope the gelling starts early this year.
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Old 04-26-2004, 01:55 PM   #3
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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

I love your optimism, D. I cannot grade this draft any higher than a C, considering the fact that I can\'t find anyplace that seriously talks about Watson as anything but a bit undersized and vulnerable to blockers. Most sites have him as the FIFTH best MLB in the draft behind: John Vilma, Rod Davis, Daryl Smith,and Caleb Miller. Many sites also have quite a few of the OLBs rated higher than Watson, and if we are trying to say we picked the best guy available - our grade can\'t be good if you consider that. Finally, when many of the scouts rate Watson as a fourth round selection and we take him in the second (most are profesional evaluators are calling this a \"reach\")..... this is not a good move at all.

What this looks like to me is rolling the dice. We didn\'t address either of our truly critical needs in this draft. We picked up a great DE (but we already had two). We picked up a FB that will likely fill our future need at this position for a good while.

We could have traded down and got a corner who is better than what we have. We could have grabbed D. Thomas, though he\'s an OLB he\'s more talented than Watson by a long shot. Coulda, woulda, shoulda... maybe we have some plans for the rest of the off-season, trades perhaps? The thing that really makes me want to cry here is that the best thing sportswriter\'s can say about our draft is that we picked guys with \"character\" and we are all convincing ourselves this somehow makes it better... Tragic

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Old 04-26-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
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Frenzy that was a great post and I agree completely.... Haslett can\'t win though and thats the main problem.....You could give him the Pats and he couldn\'t win 10 games
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:55 PM   #5
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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

I love your optimism, D. I cannot grade this draft any higher than a C, considering the fact that I can\'t find anyplace that seriously talks about Watson as anything but a bit undersized and vulnerable to blockers. Most sites have him as the FIFTH best MLB in the draft behind: John Vilma, Rod Davis, Daryl Smith,and Caleb Miller.
Nfl Draft countdown lists him as 3rd
Kiper list him as #1
Mike D lists him as 3rd
Huddle Report - 3rd
Football.com lists him as 5th.
OTC.com lists him as 4th.
NFL.com has him in their top 10 (OLB and ILB included)
ESPN: 1st team all-american
Butkus award-Top 3 finalist.

BTW: Vilma – undersized, vulnerable to blockers
Davis-Slow and vulnerable to blockers
Smith- Lacks ideal strength, weak in coverage, vulnerable to blockers
Miller: not even on most lists, PROJECT!


We could have traded down and got a corner who is better than what we have. We could have grabbed D. Thomas, though he\'s an OLB he\'s more talented than Watson by a long shot.
Most value charts I’ve seen show them close. I wanted DThomas also but we’re talking a true MLB aren’t we? DThomas was projected by most as an OLB. But I\'ll give you that one, barely.

The thing that really makes me want to cry here is that the best thing sportswriter\'s can say about our draft is that we picked guys with \"character\" and we are all convincing ourselves this somehow makes it better... Tragic
Most sportswriters? Most I’ve read are saying we wisely picked value over needs. The only ones spouting the character thing are a couple locals, and both of them thought it was a good draft. I don’t know anyone saying the character thing makes this draft better.


[Edited on 26/4/2004 by Danno]

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Old 04-26-2004, 03:02 PM   #6
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Hello all - I am back from Jazz Fest and ready to weigh in on this. Not surprisingly, Danno is trying his best to show the silver lining... they say that every storm cloud has one, but hundreds of people get struck by lightening every year trying to find one.

I will do my best to not be overly pessimistic, but here\'s how I feel.

1 - Will Smith - we\'ll have to see how they choose to use this guy. My initial reaction was one of total anger. I also thought that this spelled the end for Darren Howard in New Orleans. It still might. However, if the coaches decide to use this kid as a mean, big, blitzing type OLB, I will probably end up happy about this pick. The kid is a stud, no doubt. It\'s hard to say if Haslett and Co. picked him to be a LB, or if they are concerned about Howard\'s health and contract status. We will have to see, but for now, I will say that we probably could have used a first rounder more wisely. As much as this organization wants to tell us that they draft for best player b/c there are no big needs on the team only makes me further question them. Drafting for best player is one thing, but there are plenty of big holes at LB and CB...

2A-Devery Henderson - hhhhmmmm. That\'s the only thing I can say about this. I\'m happy to see an LSU kid staying home. I like Devery\'s explosiveness and think he has great potential. He may be able to help out a lot if Horn declines, Stallworth can\'t get on the field, and/or Pathon continues to be an average 3rd WR. However, if Horn and Stallworth play like they should, I don\'t know if this guy will make the team. If memory serves, Tallman Gardner was a FIRST team all ACC player at FSU. Devery was second team all SEC. With Talman and Lewis both having more playing time in the NFL and NFLE, I don\'t know if Henderson will make the team. Again, why didn\'t we go true LB or CB here?

2B - Courtney Watson. Honestly, I don\'t know much about the guy. At least he is a player at a position of need, so I\'m happy about that. However, to say this guy is better than Vilma, after seeing Vilma\'s name about 17 million times in the last month on this board alone, well, you\'re fooling yourself. I hope this kid turns out to be a player. I hope he shuts down the middle for years to come. I hope Cie Grant and Will Smith play on either side of him and Grant, Sully, Leisle, and Howard give us one of the best front sevens in the league. And they could... but I\'m skeptical about them actually doing that. Hey, this is WhoDat, lest we forget.

3 - Uh... stupid.

5 - DT and FB. Both good value picks, I was happy. Let\'s face it, at this point you\'re not likely to find a great LB or CB in this draft. A FB was needed and a good one could still be had. A DT is just a body to rotate in and hope he becomes more. Good moves.

7 - Not likely to be much of anything in the NFL, sorry to say. Not really concerned here one way or the other.

Overall, we passed on a corner. That\'s upsetting. IF, and I mean IF, Will Smith is made an OLB, I\'ll be happy at LB. Otherwise, I\'m cautiously optimistic at best about Watson. I generally feel like the Saint misused their picks again. This was not terrible, not by a long shot. However, they continue to pass over good players and insist that LB and CB aren\'t areas of major need for improvement. That\'s really disappointing. Right now I give this draft a...

C+ - only slightly better than average.

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he said.[i]\"You know you should stop, but you just can\'t.\"
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:50 PM   #7
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Saints Draft Grade - B Plus

2B-Courtney Watson- ... We now have a true MLB, who can also play OLB and we can move Grant outside if necessary.
Do you think Watson will start against Seattle? Right now I see him behind Ruff and Grant on the depth chart and personally would like to see what Grant can do in the middle.
Also, \"we now have a true MLB, who can also play OLB\" is a bit ironic, isn\'t it?
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Old 04-26-2004, 03:55 PM   #8
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Also, \"we now have a true MLB, who can also play OLB\" is a bit ironic, isn\'t it?
Is there any doubt he\'s destined for the WLB spot?
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:18 PM   #9
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3 notes.

1. Will Smith is a two prong effect. 1- to throw a curve at the Howard negotiations 2- possibly give Grant the kick in the ass he needs to be more consistent. Out of the three, I think Smith has the greatest potential to be a perennial pro-bowler. You\'ll never hear me complain with the \"BPA\" way of drafting.
2. I knew the minute that Mike Williams was declared uneligible for the draft that things were going to get hairy. Didn\'t realize how hairy it would be. Go back and look at rounds one and two in detail. I was shocked how all the players I had on my board were gone in both rounds when it came time for the Saints to pick. As far as need, the worst possible scenarios played out against the Saints. I\'m suprised we were able to obtain a linebacker at all. Domino, ******-******!!!!!
3. Had they listened to me last year, they would have taken Trufant, lived a year with Kenny Smith at DT, and could have drafted Wilfork in the first this year. Oh well....

The waiting drove me mad....
I don't want to hear from those that know...
Everything has changed, absolutely nothing's changed


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Old 04-26-2004, 08:45 PM   #10
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I was planing on worse case senerio for the Saints... and bam it happened but I didn\'t figure Smith falling to 18. But somehow I think Saints inc. felt it would happen or was prepared as I was for something like this happening... the whole Vilma/Williams/CB\'s/WR and QB thing happening there was a rush on for those positions and bam there was Smith a DE and possible LB... a versatile, athlete, and great person. STEAL. I thought we might get lucky and have WIlliams land in our laps though.
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