The New Orleans Saints traded up to acquire Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara with the 67th pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
The Saints had to trade back into the second round to nab Kamara by giving up their 2018 2nd round pick and this year’s 7th round pick to the San Francisco 49ers. Sean Payton has a specific vision for Kamara who will join Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson in the backfield. The Saints conducted a private workout for Kamara during the draft process. Payton envisions Kamara as a Reggie Bush/Darren Sproles type of player who can also field kicks. Kamara was one of four team captains selected last spring.
Kamara led the Tennessee Volunteers with 127 yards and two touchdowns, eight catches for 161 yards and another TD, in addition to a 16-yard kick return in a 45-38 double-overtime loss to Texas A&M. The 312 yards represented a single-game record for Tennessee and put Kamara on NFL draft radar.
Well now that the draft is over, did we address our needs?
In some areas we did. Such as defensive backs on defense. That is an area where we struggled greatly last season. With Jimmy Smith being hurt we had no one else other than Tavon Young who was a rookie in that position and played pretty good. Not as strong as Jimmy though. We picked up Marlon Humphrey from Alabama, a physical corner.
Another area was a pass rusher, with Elvis Dumervil gone we addressed that with the pickup of Tyus Bowser OLB from the University of Houston, he was the #5 edge defender in the run stop. This is an area where we were lacking with only 1 sack of the quarterback the whole season. We also picked up a gem of the 5 stand technique in DE Chris Wormley from the University of Michigan. We also picked up OLB Tim Williams from Alabama who was a third round steal pass rusher.
The New Orleans Saints select Offensive Tackle Ryan Ramczyk with the 32nd pick of the first round of the 2017 NFL draft.
What at first was, to me, a ho hum, ever-so-safe pick became more exciting as the night wore on. Coach Sean Payton divulged the grade placed on Ramczyk by the Saints organization. The Saints had Ramczyk slotted in the top tier of the first round at a position they wished to fill. The gap between the Ramczyk grade and other, defensive player grades was sufficient enough to warrant the pick in the first round.
“Our grade on Ryan was at the top half of round one, inside of a grade of 15,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He was a player graded in the first round by every one of our scouts.” If the Saints had waited until a later round, the draft would not have yielded many promising picks at offensive tackle.
The Saints made it clear they expected to draft an offensive tackle but most analysts (including me) thought they would draft one later given Drew Brees‘ ability to make life relatively easy for an offensive tackle. (Perhaps, the Saints are moving back toward dominant offensive line play reminiscent of the days when they regularly garnered the Madden award for Most Valuable Protectors in 2009 and 2011). Continue reading “Saints Select Offensive Tackle Ryan Ramczyk”→