SAINTS 2016 Draft Review

The Boys in the Bayou are trying to hold their team together with baling wire and duct tape these days. Too many years of credit card drafting and trading away picks have put the team in a hole. And clearly they are not at all prepared for DREW BREES to retire in the foreseeable future. So lets look at their rather lean 2016 Draft group.

ROUND 1 SHELDON RANKINS/DT/LOUISVILLE 6’1/304 5.03/40 9 3/8″H/33 3/8″A
Quickness and a high rev motor allow this man to live on the opponents side of the line-of-scrimmage. His size is far from ideal, but his productivity is unmatched. He will fill several needs for their DL group, though he can only play one spot at a time. Very strong and will hold up well even against top level OL play. He’s short and not too heavy, but he’s a great athlete and his arm length is good for his size. I would be surprised if he’s not an impact Rookie and provides an upgrade their DL unit overall. Pigskin rings the bell, hitting this Pick right on the nose.
Pick # 25 GBN Rank: 11 Ourlads Rank: 18 PP Rank: 25

Round 2 MICHAEL THOMAS/WR/OHIO STATE 6’3/212 4.56/40 10 1/2″H/32 1/8″A
The second consecutive happy coincidence of a team need being met by the seemingly ideal player to fill that need. Basically THOMAS is coming in with the expectation that he will fill the shoes of a guy named COLSTON, who was released by the team. The only thing he lacks is pure speed. But his length and route running are pro ready. He is also adept at high-pointing throws and playing the sidelines as an ally. I see him having CHRIS CARTER potential. He may be more pro ready immediately than CARTER was, but can he push himself to be elite? Should be a great compliment to BRANDIN COOKS. SHONKA nails this Pick.
Pick # 47 GBN Rank: 54 Ourlads Rank: 47 PP Rank: 54

Round 3 VONN BELL/FS/OHIO STATE 5’11/200 4.51/40 32 3/8″A/9 1/2″H
Once again a player who fits a clear need and a good overall value. BELL should team very nicely with SS KENNY VACCARO and allow the team to use disappointing VFA JARIUS BYRD in sub-packages that better fit his overall talent, and conceal some of his weaknesses. The only thing BELL really needs to work on is his tackling fundamentals and want-to, which were questionable at times in Columbus. Has a college resume’ and game film that would lead you to believe he’s a clutch performer who can make big plays. Another very good value pick for the team.
Pick # 61 GBN Rank: 51 Ourlads Rank: 32 PP Rank: 51

Round 4 DAVID ONYEMATA/DE/MANITOBA 6’3/300 5.10/40
The SAINTS have a recent history of not shying away from Canadian Collegians (HICKS) and they clearly saw lots that they liked from the Shrine Venue as well as pre-draft workouts. He’s not speedy, but has good quickness and change of direction ability. He is not a starting candidate like RANKINS, but he will be used primarily in pass rush situations. He can get out around the edge, but uses his quickness and strong hand play to his advantage. He better be the real deal because when you only have 5 Picks you can’t miss in the 4th Round with a pick based primarily of potential.
Pick # 120 GBN Rank: 217 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 300+ NR

Round 7 DANIEL LASCO/RB/CALIFORNIA 6’0/209 4.47/40 9 1/8″H/32″A
If not for a checkered medical chart this guy could have been a threat to be a Top 100 prospect. He has decent speed, with a little bit of wiggle. He’s a solid pass catching threat out of the backfield. He’s also a quality blocker in pass pro, which is very important in the NFL in general, and this team in particular. Showed very well at the Shrine venue. Can run over or around most tacklers from the back-7. Is explosive as evidenced by his 41.5″ vert and and 11’3″ broad jump. Looks to me like a solid value for Round 7, but his workload will need to be monitored based on the medical history.
Pick # 237 GBN Rank: 145 Ourlads Rank: 180 PP Rank: 218

It’s a solid looking crew, but they needed quantity as well as quality. Since it is part of the Draft Process I will mention that it looks as though the SAINTS did their usual fine job in Undrafted Free Agency. But way too much of their roster, under LOOMIS & PAYTON, is made up of URFA who have battled their way into the League. The lack of Draft productivity is going to doom this team over the long haul, and we may be seeing some of that already as they look to be a tough out on game days, but a .500 team overall.