2020 NFL Draft: New Orleans Saints final draft grades

Cesar Ruiz, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Cesar Ruiz, 2020 NFL Draft (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Cesar Ruiz 2020 NFL Draft
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

Center. 24. player. 15. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Michigan. Cesar Ruiz

Ruiz was a bit of a shocker to the Saints at No. 24 overall. Not in terms of ability, he was a certain first-round talent. But a team with a need at linebacker and an already talented offensive line, taking a guard here was surprising.

Louisiana native Patrick Queen was still on the board, as was Jordyn Brooks from Texas Tech. It should be noted that the Chargers had traded up in front of the Saints to get Kenneth Murray at pick 23. You have to wonder if Murray was going to be the pick had the Chargers not swooped in and taken him before the Saints got the chance.

The Saints could have also opted to boost their receiving corps or their secondary with this pick. Guys like Brandon Aiyuk, Noah Igbinoghene, and Jeff Gladney were still available.  With this move, they showed they are comfortable with veterans Emmanuel Sanders and Janoris Jenkins to hold down the fort.

I am a fan of the pick, as it seemed like Ruiz was the best player available on the Saints’ board. The belief of best player available over a positional need is a belief I strongly endorse. Especially when you are coming off a 13-3 season, with very few weaknesses to attack.

Ruiz is a very sound pass protector and plays with high intensity. He will be a welcome addition to an elite offensive line and is expected to contribute from day 1.

Grade: A-