In the 2017 draft Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Jeff Irleand had a draft class for the ages. After 3 straight 7-9 seasons, people began to lose faith in the Saints brass and some even called for Payton and Loomis’ jobs.
However they put together a great plan for the 2017 draft that yielded immediate results. These players range from above average starters to Pro Bowlers and some of the most elite players at their position. Let’s take a look at the 2017 draft class.
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State 11th overall pick
Years after Jabari Greer and Keean Lewis played in the black and gold the Saints struggled looking for a true CB1. One draft night their prayers were answered. After the surge of offensive players selected in picks 1-10 Lattimore fell right in the Saints lap at 11th overall. He has been nothing but fantastic, finishing as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Lattimore has proven he can hold up against some of the best receivers in the NFL and has certainly earned an extension from the Saints.
Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin, 32nd overall pick
The pick the Saints gained from the Brandin Cooks trade with New England turned out to be more valuable than a lot of people realized. When veteran tackle Zach Strief went down in week 1 due to injury, Ramczyk took the job and never looked back earning First- and Second-Team All Pro honors the last two seasons (2018, 2019)
Marcus Williams, S, Utah, 42nd pick overall
Now if you take away what happened in Minnesota a few years ago, Marcus Williams would look like the next great safety to a lot of people. Despite what happened, Marcus Williams has had a great start to his NFL career Williams really turned into a great ballhawk, go get the ball, type safety. He still has some space to improve, but make no mistake he really has turned into one of the best young defenders in the game.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee, 67th overall pick
At the time, a lot of people questioned this pick seeing as how the Saints traded away next year’s second round pick to get it done. All while having a really good running back in Mark Ingram and newly signed future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson on the roster. However, Kamara eventually made AD (“All Day”) expendable, and along with Mark Ingram, formed one of the best duos in the NFL. Kamara has accumulated over 1,300 yards in each of his 3 seasons along with 81 catches each year and has never rushed for less than 700 yards AK has proven to be one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL.
Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida, 76th pick overall
Coming out of Florida the big thing against Anzalone was his injury history. While that has proven to take a toll on his NFL career so far, when healthy he has been a good starter for the Saints. If New Orleans maybe find a way to keep him off the field he could certainly have a long and fantastic career.
Trey Hendrickson, DE, FAU 103rd pick overall
Finding a pass rusher to pair with Cam Jordan has always been something the Saints tried to do. A year later they would go on to take Marcus Davenport. While the jury is still out on Hendrickson, he has really carved a nice role as the team’s 3rd pass rusher.