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2017 NFL Post Draft Thoughts on Saints Selections

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Posted 04-30-2017 at 03:42 PM by jeanpierre
Updated 04-30-2017 at 06:57 PM by jeanpierre

Well, the Saints draft is once again in the books now and a familiar disposition is upon me once again. This had the makings of a strange draft and that's exactly what we got.

Even the Browns couldn't screw up the first round pick though I suspect they tried to show they were smarting than everyone else - a chronic affliction of many NFL front offices and Head Coaches. Even Saints HC Sean Payton is in full-blown Morauxitis as I've now identified it - a condition where an individual is given autonomous power and control over personnel and NFL draft decision making without the necessary checks and balances to prevent eccentric and contradictory decision making. More on that later.

While everyone was expecting 49ers rookie GM John Lynch to be yet another poster child of a misguided hire by another inept owner, this time Jed York, who's only advantage in life was winning the lottery at birth. And yet Lynch was nothing short of awesome the way he fleeced the Bears to move down one spot and still get his player, Solomon Thomas. And then he wasn't done when he embarrassed the Saints in the first round by jumping in and taking Reuben Foster in the middle of a premature phone call which in my view is another tell of hubris on Payton's part. Young GM Ryan Pace was obviously given marching orders by the McCaskey family to secure a new franchise QB at all costs in Mitch Trubisky who has built-in marketability with the Chicago area with his name alone (Chicago has a large Polish ethnic community). Even HC John Fox wasn't informed of the move. Though the Trubisky move looks bad now, I envy that the Bears have a GM with that kind of control over a HC.

Now leading up to the draft, I have been writing, arguing we could wait and take an edge rusher, as this was a deep group and we should be patient and wait and see what falls...

Sure enough, the highest rated CB in the draft Marcus Lattimore fell right into our laps. Could this be Fate intervening to keep Payton from further handicapping the chances of another championship with his draft foolishness? Reports are that he was trying to move up (supposedly for Lattimore, but we know who Payton really wanted - his new bright, shiny new offensive toy - Christian McCaffrey).

But the Marcus Lattimore pick does come with some serious complications as he has had chronic hamstring problems since high school and has missed two years of college play - requiring surgery no less. Still amazed he fell to No. 11, so I hadn't think the Saints would have had to make that decision. But we should have mocked for that contingency (this is a billion dollar franchise) and had that discussion as it may come back to hamstring us. Afterall, did the fragility of last season not teach Payton a d*mn thing about having tough, resilient players?

Fate lobbed another softball to Payton when the best OT prospect in the draft, Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramcyzk fell to us at 32. While many were disappointed we didn't get Foster, I've chosen to be in the minority and that maybe Lynch did us a favor, even if he embarrassed Payton in the process. We've got a LT who's not played a full healthy season yet in his career and then Old Reliable, Zach Strief, who's currently 33 years of age. Normally players of Ramcyzk caliber are found with the 8th to 11th pick of the draft, but we got him at 32. And you gotta love his name, especially for an offensive lineman.

Then it happens. We give up a 2018 second round pick and a 2017 seventh round pick to move to the top of the third round. DE Jordan Willis, K-State is sitting there. And then Payton calls another one of his infamous double reverses…

Saints trade a 2018 second round pick and a seventh round pick this season to take a 198 lbs 3rd down scat back, Alvin Kamara of Tennessee. Regarding Kamara, talking with two scouts, am convinced Payton really, really wanted RB Christian McCaffrey, but he was advised the jump ahead of Carolina was cost prohibitive; but Payton still felt he had to have that toy, so he spent a second and seventh round pick on a third-down scat back.

Have several criticisms of this move. First is that you still have FA RBs out there who could bridge the role till next year's draft, why keep mortgaging the future when all it's done is kept us at 7-9? Second, if Kamara was rated that high, late first round, on the draft board, why not take him at 32 or 42 if value is truly more important than need? Third, if you like risk, why not sit tight, stay disciplined and let him fall to the 76th spot? Payton seems to have a problem deciding between two players and makes these impulsive moves, with no system to keep him in check, and every year is unable to complete a well-rounded roster because he keeps using two picks on one player. And fourth, what was the grade on DE Jordan Willis of Kansas St? Many reputable scouts had him with a late first through second round grade, why not use that pick and the next on DE to shore up what has been the self-declared need of the draft?

Look at what has transpired at Safety in just the past two drafts. Payton had to have Vonn Bell and spent two picks to get him and now with the selection of Marcus Williams, a true mid-fielding safety, all of sudden has two picks invested in Bell who will maybe play a part-time role in three-safety sets. Now Payton has done the same with two picks, once again a second round pick on a 198 lbs RB who will play on 3rd down and long situations. Amazed out how this brilliant coach continues to handicap himself with these types of personnel decisions.

But Payton wasn’t done with his mental faux pas, he drafts LB Alex Anzalone out of Florida. This was my immediate response to that selection -

I'd taken Hendrickson waaaaaay before Anzalone...

But Anzalone is imminently qualified for the New Orleans Saints...

NFL.com -

WEAKNESSES Has had substantial injuries in his background that helped limit his playing time and production. Has no interceptions or forced fumbles at Florida. Plays with inconsistent base. Contact balance is very average. Needs to improve with taking on pulling guards and cross blocking H-backs. Disengagement takes too long and he expends too much energy. Needs to punch and move to avoid being engulfed by linemen. Gets moved out of his run fits by misdirection. Overreacts to play fakes and will lose sight of the ball. At times, will look to do too much in coverage rather than just manning his position.

I mean, who's f*cking draft chart are we using in the Saints' war room? Joey Vitt, Junior's accented in crayola?

Then I see this nugget from Mike Detiller

Detillier, another rocket scientist...

Reminds him of Sean Lee? In what way? Can't stay on the field?

Okay, I’ll admit, a little too much Yuengling® Lager had lowered my guard a wee bit; coupled with my frustration that with the way the opportunities had fallen for the Saints to hit this draft way outta the park, an unchecked, total authoritarian Payton was once sh*tting his hat on draft day.

Now speaking of Hendrickson, and as I had been saying, I wasn't surprised we still found quality in DE Trey Hendrickson where he was exactly slotted; despite many scouts’ obsession with his short arms, many think that the highest rated collegiate pass rush disrupter in 2016 will be a quality starter before long in the NFL. For the Saints in 2017, he’ll be ideal depth to rotate behind DE Alex Okafor or Cam Jordan. This pick seemed to calm Saints Nation, me included in that number, not that Payton really gave a flying flip what they think because football for him is rocket science and he’s Robert Goddard..

And just when I was letting this selection calm my fandom, we get this gem from the Mickster…

What's that you say Mickster, you can’t force it? Force taking a player to fill need? What was a first and second round pick to get Ingram? What was a first and third round pick to get Cooks? Two picks to get John Jenkins? Two picks to get Vonn Bell? Two picks to get David Onyemata? Two picks to get Alvin Kamara in the very draft you said you can’t force things? The value dictated the move? WTF hairy-@ss thinking is that about? After all this BS of trading away Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks to address needs on defense, you ignore the fact that you have an off-injured free agent with limited NFL success starting at DE opposite your only semblance of an edge pass rush. Are Raymond, Underhill and the rest of the sackless NOLA Saints media afraid to call them on this for fear of a turbulent job market? Total Bullshinski and Payton/Loomis get a pass...

Then comes the cherry, but we have to wait for our only pick in four rounds on Day 3 because of all the two-for-one shopping Payton has done. And what do we take? A defensive end who has only played one season in three years because he was kicked off the team twice at The “U”. University of Florida, Miami. I mean, kicked out of the U, not once, but twice. Didn’t we just take it in the salary cap @ss with Junior Galette? Do we really need a potential lightning rod for Roger Goodell and the NFL Gestapo to come snooping around our team? His numbers and production weren’t even that impressive when he played, not that we’d find an edge rusher in round 6, even in this terrific draft. We could’ve taken a good developmental prospect for the offensive line. Or, dare I say, a developmental quarterback? No we take Junior Galette 2.0, a one-dimensional weak edge rusher who’s got more baggage on his cart than a Moisant Baggage Porter.

So went it’s done, despite a stellar start to the draft, we went 3 for 6, .500.

Wonder what our record will be this year?
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  1. Old Comment
    hagan714's Avatar
    pretty much sums it up IMO
    Posted 04-30-2017 at 03:51 PM by hagan714 hagan714 is offline

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