2011 NFL Draft Winners: New Orleans Saints

Assigning a letter grade to a team’s draft is best done 2 or 3 years after the fact.  There’s just no way to tell how these 21, 22, 23  year old youngsters will do once the real paychecks start flowing. But taking a look at the potential value received and declaring a drafts potential (there’s that word again) good or not makes more sense to me.

Last time out I looked at the splendid job done by the Indianapolis Colts, and this time it’s on to New Orleans to look at the Saints haul.

Defensive end Cameron Jordan has the strength and speed to fit in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme.  The Saints will line him up opposite RDE Will Smith in their 4-3 defense and he’ll provide tough play against the run and an edge rusher.

Trading back up to the 1st round for Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram prompted incumbent tailback Reggie Bush to Twitter pout. Ingram can be a workhorse back and will give the Saints offense a dynamic dimension.

Plucking linebacker Martez Wilson in the 3rd could be a steal. His size and athleticism will allow him to see the field as a rookie.  He could back up at all 3 linebacker spots a a rookie, before eventually settling in at MLB.

Fellow 3rd rounder Johnny Patrick will eventually compete for a starting corner job, and with his skills he should see the field as a rookie.  Greg Romeus lasted to the 7th round due to injury concerns, but some scouts thought the defensive lineman had 1st-2nd round talent.  Wilson’s Illini teammate Nate Bussey (7th round) is an undersized linebacker that will compete for a special teams job.

You can click here to look at the winning draft by the New England Patriots.  And click here to check out my write up of the winning haul of the Houston Texans.