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Draft Analysis of Saints 2020 Draft

The Saints traded all of their day 3 picks to move up to 105 so barring a trade back in their draft is done. It was a very interesting draft and probably not what most Saints fans were predicting. I understand where the hesitation came from as I was one of those ones who at first was not happy with the Ruiz pick in the first round. But after going and studying his film and game breakdowns I am way more on board now, then I initially was. They then were able to secure two first round talents on many boards with the 74th and the 105th picks after trading up for both. Let’s go over the analysis of Cesar Ruiz, Zack Baun, and Adam Trautman.

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First round fraft pick saints 2020 draft pick cesar ruiz

Round 1 Pick 24: Cesar Ruiz

Strengths: 

  • Has some multi-positional ability as a two year starter at center but also playing some guard
  • Fast off the snap as he gets to defenders quickly and explodes into them
  • Great balance and strength especially lower body explosiveness
  • Great at getting to the second level in the run game
  • Very young with a lot of room to grow; will turn 21 in June
  • In the passing game his best asset is how he uses his hands to engage the defender and keep them from penetrating the middle; though could stand to get stronger in the passing game against bigger defenders

Weaknesses: 

  • Not the biggest size wise at 6’3 and only 307 pounds; could add some weight and strength
  • Scheme wise was very simple at Michigan will be interesting to see how well he can adjust to higher level schemes
  • Ceiling is not super high but in return floor is relatively high
  • Upper Body can be over powered and maneuvered through with rip moves rather easily for a interior offensive lineman
  • If not able to get to the second level quick enough can struggle to get to the defender to make contact
  • Fundamentally has tendency to sometimes reach and hold instead of making tight contact and push; will have to better at the next level so not to get penalized heavily

Overall:

Cesar Ruiz is a top level interior lineman in the class but may struggle with where he best fits on the Saints. With Erik Mccoy established as a center already and Ruiz sort of struggling there in his freshman year it may make the most sense for Mccoy to slide over to Guard and see how that works. Not the most athletic lineman but when fundamentally sound does a good job with his hands, has good instincts, good feet and lower body power and seems like a relatively hard worker. His ceiling is a high level starter and his floor will be a competent starter at worse. Solid overall pick for the Saints here especially with what they did with their other two picks.

New Orleans Saints draft pick Zack Baun

Round 3 Pick 74- Zack Baun

Strengths:

  • Great rusher off the edge with 12.5 sacks last year
  • Versatile promise with his ability to play off the ball as well
  • Can contribute right away on 3rd down both as a pass rusher or a coverage linebacker
  • Was criticized for not being good enough in coverage but i actually thought he held up quite well in that department
  • Held up well in the run game as well even though his 19.5 tackles for loss can be a bit misleading
  • Smart intelligent player who does a lot of the little things really well; held up blockers really well and didn’t allow runners to get outside which allows teammate to flow to the ball unblocked
  • Plays downhill and fast to the ball in most of his game film
  • Plays faster in game then maybe even his 4.6 40 would make you think
  • His pass rush threat and athleticism make him a scary threat to bend off the edge and spin inside to generate pressure
  • Relentless energy and work rates

     Weaknesses: 

  • Too undersized to play DE but also needs to improve footwork to the ball and in pass coverage; may be a bit of tweener
  • Sometimes relies too much on athleticism and speed but with coaching can get that cleaned up
  • Sometimes has the tendency to get caught flat footed and can get moved off the LOS but most of the time he diagnoses the play too quickly to get beat
  • Could stand to add about 5 to 10 pounds of muscle to help with disengaging blocks
  • Footwork when dropping into coverage is the area of that game where he needs the most improvement

Overall: 

All in all this was a big steal for the Saints especially with a need for depth/starter at linebacker. The best way to use Baun would be for us to have him play off ball on 1st and 2nd down and then allow him to use his quickness and flexibility to help with pass rush on 3rd. With proper coaching to some of his weak points their is a chance Baun could be a full time starter by mid way through the year. At worst he is depth in a position that the Saints badly needed it at, with Anzalone ability to stay on the field in question.

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Floor: High Level 3rd down pass rusher

Ceiling: All around Linebacker/Ability and Intelligence to be possible Pro Bowler

Saints 2020 Draft pick Adam Trautman

Round 3 Pick 105- Adam Trautman 

Strengths: 

  • Extremely versatile; can line up in almost every position you want him too; slot, tight end, even out wide
  • Very technically sound run blocker as he uses a good base and his hands extremely well
  • His route tree for how big he is was extremely impressive especially how tight his corner and post routes are
  • Good red zone target as he uses his size and hands extremely well to high point the football
  • Intelligent in working into space to get open
  • Plays faster on tape than his 4.8 40 yard dash suggests

Weaknesses: 

  • Lacks explosiveness in trying to separate from defenders
  • Will need to prove he can handle the bigger and stronger competition in the NFL
  • Does not have great after the catch ability and can tend to sometimes motor down after initial route

Overall: 

Trautman will have the promise to be a steal if he can continue to prove he can do the same things against higher level competition as he transitions to a offense where he will hopefully be able to maximize his talents and hide his weaknesses.

Floor: Backup Tight end/Rotation

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Ceiling: Talented starter on a good team

Update: The Saints traded back into the 7th round to select MSU QB Tommy Stevens

Strengths:

  • Is a surprisingly decent thrower on the run
  • Has a nice deep ball
  • Extremely fast and quick
  • Explosive in running the ball
  • Does a lot of the little things on the football field well
  • Has the Taysom Hill role written all over him
  • Great size

Weaknesses:

  • General accuracy throwing the ball
  • Footwork is not clean; reports have shown though that he is a hard worker on those things
  • Consistency throwing the ball is an issue
  • Will have to learn to translate that speed more consistently

Overall:

This is a solid pick up in the 7th as Stevens can learn from Taysom Hill and Drew Brees and slowly develop some of the weaknesses. At the worst he is another nuclear bomb for Sean Payton to use on the field.

Floor: Backup Taysom Hill/Rotation Weapon

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Ceiling: Taysom Hill 2.0/Quality Backup QB

Overall Grades for each pick:

Cesar Ruiz- B+

Zack Baun- B+; potential to be A-

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Adam Trautman- B

Tommy Stevens- C; potential to be as high as B