The 2018 Draft is a now a part of the past and Saints fans all over are eager to find out what these rookies are made of. Coming into the draft, major needs for this team were edge rusher, tight end, offensive line, and possibly another receiver. With the exception of tight end, the Saints did indeed fill those needs, and then some. Lets take a look at the new players that will be wearing that black and gold this upcoming season.
Round 1 Pick 14 via trade with the Packers – Marcus Davenport, Edge Rusher, UTSA.
I’ve seen many different opinions on this pick, especially since we traded up to get Davenport. Some say the Saints gave up too much to get him and that he will be a bust, while others say we got the best edge rusher in the class. And that’s saying something considering Bradley Chubb went pick 5. An edge rusher opposite Cam Jordan has been a need really ever since Junior Galette was let go. I think everyone should be optimistic for Marcus. Yeah, he did come from a small school and didn’t face top notch talent. But when a player starts getting comparisons to Jadaveon Clowney, Demarcus Ware, and Ziggy Ansah, sometimes a team just has to pull the trigger to move up and snag them. And that’s exactly what Mickey Loomis and Co did. The reality is that Brees isn’t getting any younger and the will to win a second Super Bowl is greater than ever. The defense just got that much stronger with him on the field.
Round 3 pick 91 – Tre’Quan Smith, Wide Receiver, UCF
Standing 6’2″ and weighing 205 pounds, Smith is the ideal receiver that Sean Payton loves to have on the offense. With the addition of Tre’Quan, the Saints now have 4 receivers on the team 6’2″ and taller. The Saints struggled on third down last season so you have to think that’s why we picked Smith at this spot. He was phenomenal at UCF catching the ball on third down. He should immediately help in that aspect for the Saints. The Saints did sign Cameron Meredith this off-season, but his status is still questionable on whether he will be ready when the season starts. Ted Ginn was a nice addition last year, but he is on the wrong side of 30 unfortunately. Willie Snead left us to sign with the Ravens as well. Smith will provide good depth his rookie season and could possible take Ginns’ spot when his time is up with the Saints.
Round 4 pick 127 – Rick Leonard, Offensive Tackle, FSU
This was an interesting pick for the Saints. Leonard first started playing on the defensive line, but then transitioned to playing right tackle while at FSU. More of a depth pick for us, Leonard will need to put in a lot of hard work if he wants to make an impact at some point in his career.
Round 5 pick 164 – Natrell Jamerson, Safety, Wisconsin
Safety wasn’t one of the needs listed above, but it’s always nice to have depth at every position. Jamerson is a versatile player who can be the gunner on Special Teams, who can play the nickel corner positon, and obviously the safety position. He also has 4.40 speed, which is also something the Saints could use on the defense. I expect Jamerson to help immediately on ST, while getting a few reps at nickel this season.
Round 6 pick 189 – Kamrin Moore, Corner, Boston College
Once again, another depth pick. The Saints signed Patrick Robinson earlier this year and they still have PJ Williams on the team for their 4th corner. Look for Moore to compete in training camp against Williams to solidify himself a roster spot.
Round 6 pick 201 – Boston Scott, Running back, LA Tech
What?!?! Another running back?!?! Yes, another running back. and quite honestly we shouldn’t be that suprised. Payton loves having different weapons to work with, especially at running back. Ingram and Kamara are the 1-2 punch at RB, while Scott could be that 3rd to get some reps this season. He was very productive in college and had the third highest PFF grade for all running backs this past season. He also will provide good depth in the Special Teams department. Darren Sproles is who comes to mind when watching Boston Scott play.
Round 7 pick 245 – Will Clapp, G/C, LSU
The Saints finally drafted an LSU player, and a good one at that. The Saints lost Senio Kelemete to the Texans, so finding a backup guard was a huge need. Luckily, they snagged a guy can play both guard and center. Clapp will immediately fill that void left from Kelemete and could even become the starting center when Unger retires. The Saints have had really good luck in the past drafting offensive linemen in these late rounds, so there is some optimism with this pick.
Overall, the Saints didn’t really need to fill many holes during the draft. After all, the Saints did make it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs with 21 guys on IR. All eyes will be on Davenport come training camp, and understandably so. The Saints are poised to make another run this season to the Super Bowl and each rookie will have their role in helping them do just that.