The Saints seemed to be “all in” for a Super Bowl run in 2018, and they looked like they were headed to the Big Game until an entire officiating crew missed a blatant PI call in the Red Zone to foil a Saints, come from behind, victory drive. Combine that with the Vikings miracle comeback victory over the Saints the previous year, and the team appears to be cursed by the football gods. In fact, if I owned the team, I would launch an extensive investigation into who owns the voodoo doll that is being used to curse the Saints.
The team has been active in VFA signings, bringing NICK EASTON/C, JARED COOK/TE, MALCOM BROWN/DT, LATAVIUS MURRAY/RB and more, to their roster, but they have also lost MAX UNGER/OC and MARK INGRAM/RB since the end of their season. Looking up and down their depth chart, it appears that the roster right now is less talented, and thinner in depth, than last season’s crew. So other than a few Free Agent signings from AAF rosters, the Draft is likely their last big chance to add quality players for now. Their only Pick in the top 150 is Round 2, Pick 62. Their other 5 Picks all come in Rounds 5-7.
Round 2, Pick 62
ERIK McCOY OG/C TEXAS A&M 6’4/310 PP#59
McCOY is a good athlete, who really blossomed under new Head Coach JIMBO FISHER’s staff in College Station. He has nice size, and can move around in pass-pro and get to the second level in the running game. His 4.89/40 at the Combine was outstanding. He looks like he can handle any interior O-line spot, and will likely enter the 2019 regular season as a versatile back-up, and the next man up as injuries occur. If VFA EASTON is fully healthy, then I could see McCOY pushing LARRY WARFORD for the RG spot. He is starter material, and it’s just a matter of time and need for him to get into the starting lineup.
Round 5, Pick 168
MAXX CROSBY DE/ER EASTERN MICHIGAN 6’5/255 PP#165
CROSBY had a solid career for EMU, and really helped his Draft position with some very athletic numbers at the Combine. His 4.66/40 at 255 lbs. was very impressive, when considering his chase potential. His 6.89 3-Cone was one of only 4 DL who ran the drill, to be under 7.00 seconds. He may split playing time between a hand-down DE spot and a stand-up OB position. He is long and wiry, and the Saints strength and conditioning staff will be working long and hard to help him add muscle to his frame. He, like McCOY, could earn some serious playing time as a Rookie. His upside does not equal MARCUS DAVENPORT, but he could see more playing time, sooner than DAVENPORT did last season.
Round 6, Pick 177
KAHALE WARRING TE SAN DIEGO STATE 6’5/252 PP#NR
WARRING was a surprise early entry for the Draft. He had a very limited football career for the Aztecs. As a typical west coast boy, his athletic career heading for college was centered around volleyball. However, his frame has filled out and he’s gaining weight in all the right places. His 9 3/4″ hands, combined with his height, portend well for his development. He and JARED COOK should really help upgrade the TE targets for Mr. BREES. Blocking will be his biggest challenge. I am sensing that WARRING is gaining popularity amongst personnel people, and may end up being ranked just outside of Round 3, by the end of April thus nixing any likelihood of him falling to the Saints here.
Round 6, Pick 202
ANDREW WINGARD SS WYOMING 6’0/209 PP#195
His coverage skills grade out as average, but his tackling radar is elite. He will be a big help for the Saints in support of the run defense. His 4.56/40 time at the Combine was a nice surprise to some scouts. His hands are under 9″ spread, which would partially explain why he’s not an INT machine. His 36.5 Vertical at the Combine put him above the average for the S group. I watched him practice and play at the Shrine venue, and he has a bloodhound’s nose for the ball. He is very active and very productive. I expect him to be an immediate ace for the Special Teams units.
Round 7, Pick 231
TRAVIS HOMER RB MIAMI (F) 5’10/201 PP#229
His 4.48/40 at the Combine was the 5th fastest in the RB group. He almost had an 11′ Broad Jump at 130″. His 10″ hand size bodes well for his receiving potential as well. He Is a jump-cut, elusive guy who has good balance, field vision, and surprising power through tacklers. In essence, he’s a tough, hard nosed, shorter guy who should make a nice change of pace RB 3 for the Saints. I’d like to see what he has to offer as a Kick Returner as well. He may be moving up Draft Boards and never make it this far back.
Round 7, Pick 244
BEN BURR-KIRVEN LB WASHINGTON 6’0/230 PP#241
He was one of the most productive, big play, LB’s in the nation last season. He has been a tackling machine for the Huskies, and went wild in 2018 with 176 tackles in 14 games. His height is not ideal, but he has a tight body and incredible instincts to the ball. He holds up against the run primarily because he shows great hand use and strength, to fend off blockers. It should also be noted that he did well in coverage, with 8 passes defensed, and also caused 4 FF’s in 2018. He did well at the Combine also, especially when he posted a 4.56/40. He may lead their Special Teams in tackles as well. This is a great value Pick of a very productive football player, who happens to be a bit undersized, kinda like their QB.
This would be a solid Draft effort, considering the lack of top Picks. At the very least, it gives them one starter, and a lot more quality depth near the bottom of their roster. I especially like the long range potential of CROSBY, WARRING, and HOMER!