The old saying build through free agency or build through the draft isn’t even close. Unless you get a certain quarterback who is a lock for Canton, that is an anomaly. The 2017 Saints draft was an historic confluence of trades and good old fashioned film work. They got two excellent starters in the first round alone then add Kamara and Marcus Williams. Then later Hendrickson was a good rotational guy and before his injury Anzalone showed flashes. Just as the 2006 Saints draft was a big foundation for the 2009 World Champions, the 2017 can be a similar in the final analysis. One last thing on the 2006 draft it was about eight months after the chaos of Katrina, which makes it even more special. Many other NFL teams had historic drafts who later on made significant playoff runs or more.
1974 Pittsburgh Steelers draft had four Hall of Famers selected. Both Lynn Swann and Stallworth, center Mike Webster and a certain middle linebacker from Kent State Jack freakin Lambert. The 1965 Bears just had a couple of picks that were just OK, Dick Butkis and Gale Sayers. The 1958 Packers draft netted them Ray Nitschke former LSU Tiger Jim Taylor and the soon to join them in Canton Jerry Kramer. In 1983 the Bears and Ditka, before he went full Ditka with Ricky Williams, had an outstanding draft. The Bears got Jimbo Covert, Willie Fault, Dave Duerson and Hall of Famer Richard Dent. Two years later, Dent was Super Bowl MVP. Full disclosure there were many more rounds back then but that’s where the undrafted free agents like Pierre Thomas come in.
A team can go dream team like the Rams this off-season but the best way is draft and develop in my opinion. Now the Saints braintrust will try to strengthen a team that was a miracle away from an NFC championship game in Philadelphia. The Saints can’t top last year’s draft so they should not try to, just get best player available. All I want for draft Christmas is the Saints to trade down and pick up two seconds. Then they draft a Lorenzo Carter or Sam Hubbard type then a Mark Andrews or Hayden Hurst. Later on get a Lauletta or a Mike White to sit behind the legend and learn. The later picks should be a versatile offensive lineman, a wide receiver, a corner then maybe a rotational defensive lineman like LSU Christian LaCouture who wore the coveted number 18 in Red Stick. So I know it is not that easy to evaluate players but if you draft guys who love football and have work ethic this team can go to the promised land.