New Orleans Saints: Grading and Reviewing the 2006 Through 2010 NFL Drafts

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In 2009 the Saints only had four picks. Let’s check ’em out.

1st round: Malcom Jenkins, FS, Ohio State

4th round: Chip Vaughn, SAF, Wake Forest and Stanley Armoux, LB, Wake Forest

5th round: Thomas Morstead, P, Southern Methodist

No longer with the team: Chip Vaughn (Colts)

Interesting that the Colts defense has taken more than one Saints defensive rejects.

Stanley Arnoux appeared in 9 games last year registering 5 tackles.

Morstead had a pretty good statistical punting year averaging 45.9 yards per punt and putting 21 punts inside the 20. It’s rough taking a punter in the fifth round, especially when you have four picks, but Morstead had been pretty good.

Malcom Jenkins is an incomplete as of right now. Jenkins has transitioned pretty smoothly to the safety position in the National Football League, but it’ll be good to see what another year or two of learning can do for him. The Saints aren’t getting a ton of interceptions from their safeties (Darren Sharper was intercepting a lot of balls when he played regularly). The Saints hope that Jenkins will take a jump in that area this year.

Draft Grade C-

Hard to have a great draft, but early returns on Jenkins and Mostead look positive. The Saints didn’t feel like they needed a ton of picks, just some help at specific positions, or another way to look at it is they prefer quality over quantity. But that’s a tough way to manage, always having less draft picks. The Jets have also done that effectively, but riding that horse too long could be trouble.


Another draft another year of less than 7 picks for the Saints.

1st round: Patrick Robinson, CB, FSU

2nd round: Charles Brown, T, USC

3rd round: Jimmy Graham, TE, The U

5th round: Matt Tennant, C, Boston College

7th round: Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State

All of the picks made in 2010 made the roster for last season.

Sean Canfield appeared in one game, recording zero stats. He’s a developmental prospect as a potential backup to Drew Brees for the foreseeable future. Matt Tennant started zero games, but appeared in all 16 games, most likely in special team packages.

Charles Brown is a very athletic tackle who is a developmental prospect because of his size. Unlike, Tyron Smith, Brown lacks the elite measurables, huge arms and hands that Smith has and raw strength. He must add weight without losing his athleticism in order to be successful in the league. The measure of success for this pick is still two years away.

Even though my family has an affinity for Florida State (dad and brothers are huge fans, but I’m not a fan of any one college football team), I didn’t love the Patrick Robinson pick. He’s too much physical ability not enough production for me. This pick could turn out effective, and clearly the Saints could use a talented cornerback on their defense.

The best pick after one year is clearly the selection of Jimmy Graham. He had 31 receptions for 356 yards and five touchdowns last year. The Saints believe in Graham so much they let Jeremy Shockey go and sign with the Panthers.

Draft Grade: INC

Of course it’s still incomplete after just one year, but it looks pretty good if Robinson becomes the player the Saints think he will as Graham has surpassed many expectations already because he wasn’t considered polished and had a good rookie year.

Overall B

The Saints have done a pretty good job of targeting players they want and getting them. The problem is they are losing a lot of draft picks through trades (for veterans as well as draft picks) and at some point that becomes playing with fire and they could get burnt. They had a tremendous 2006 N.F.L. draft and then it was uneven after that. They haven’t had a lot of picks, but they’ve done all right with most of them.

I really liked what they did in the 2011 NFL draft and am anxious to see what happens in 2009 and 2010.

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