By Christy Chauvin @WhoDatWarriors
New Orleans Saints 2017 Draft kicks off on Thursday. Nothing could be riskier business than Draft Day One where players are chosen who should be starters in their first year.
And the Saints have two such choices. They are looking for two impact players at selections 11 and 32.
Day One Draft Pick #11 – The Saints will select …
Let’s consider what positions the Saints will seek to fill and who will likely be available. Positions: The Saints history has been to select a skill position in the first round. Given this dynamic, I would expect them to lean toward the defensive skill position such as defensive line or defensive back and, perhaps, linebacker. It depends upon who is there.
The following rankings are based on an amalgam of draft analyses:
Would the Saints favor defensive line over defensive back for the 11th selection? Philosophically, I would say “Yes”. An edge rusher is more likely to speed up a quarterback thus making the cornerback’s job easier. A fantastic corner can cover but only cover so long when a quarterback has more time. Therefore, I believe the Saints will tend to favor a defensive lineman first and then draft a cornerback with the 32nd pick. There is a very deep cornerback class in this draft. Given this, I believe the Saints can wait on a cornerback.
I would look to see the Saints selection for the 11th pick to focus on players available after Garrett and Thomas are drafted. I do not believe either will be there when the Saints select. However, if Rueben Foster or Haason Reddick are there at the 11th pick, I would hesitate and consider the talents of these young men as I believe they are that good. If the Saints were to select either I would not be upset. Both are capable of being game disrupters of the first order but, if the Saints are confident with the talents of newly acquired free agent A.J. Klein, they may pass on these players.
Worth noting: What would the Saints do if either Leonard Fournette or Jamal Adams are there at the 11th pick? This is a tough question as both are once-in-a-decade players. I believe they will pass but only after hard consideration.
Day One Draft Pick #32 – I would expect the Saints to consider the corner that best fits their needs whether it is Malcolm Butler (probably not) or a drafted player. There is a good mix of great skills sets at the cornerback position, and it will be exciting to see whom they select at this juncture. In all likelihood, the Saints will have their choice of the 5th or so ranked cornerback at this stage of the draft.
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