2020 NFL Draft: Saints go outside the box, take Cesar Ruiz

Cesar Ruiz, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
Cesar Ruiz, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

With the 24th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints add to a stacked offensive line and take Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz

Many teams in this year’s draft addressed immediate needs or holes in the roster, Who Dat nation didn’t get the memo. The New Orleans Saints decided to go and get Cesar Ruiz, one of the best interior lineman in this year’s draft.

It has to be noted that the Chargers traded up with the Patriots to get the 23rd pick, and in turn drafted Kenneth Murray. I thought Murray would be the Saints’ guy to help address the weakness at linebacker if he was on the board. Clearly, the Chargers felt they needed to get in front of the Saints if they wanted him.

Patrick Queen was still on the board at 24, and I think many Saint fans were ready for his name to be called. Seems to be that Ruiz was the best player left on the Saints’ board, as they passed up filling a need at linebacker and took the big man from Michigan.

Ruiz is a clean prospect who brings a good anchor and quick hands to New Orleans. His strength is his ability in pass protection, only allowing 8 pressures in 447 snaps this past season. Expect him to be moved inside to guard, as the Saints drafted Erik McCoy in the 2nd round last year.

I was not expecting them to go this direction at all, but I do like the pick. I expected Ruiz to be off the board by this point, with the Dolphins and Jaguars being teams I circled for him. The Saints are getting a legitimate first round talent, and that is always the safer way to go, rather than reaching for another player to fill a need.

With this pick the Saints went all in on protecting Drew Brees, and strengthened an already elite position group.