Don’t we all like to poke around and see what they are saying out there about the Saints and their draft class? Exactly who are “they?” Well they can be a variety of folks. But Who Dats, what I did was search around the net and found six places that graded out the entire 2013 Draft and gave their expert analysis or, so as they say, thoughts on how each of the league’s 32 teams did over the three-day draft period.
The five sites I went to include Sporting News, ESPN.com, Fox Sports.com, CBS Sports.com and Sports Illustrated -SI.com. All of these sites had solid opinions, and of the five I went to, Chris Burke of SI.com gave the Saints their lowest draft mark, giving the Saints Draft Class a C.
Before we get into what they said you know in life we all make mistakes. From the worst of the worst to the best of the best, EVERYBODY messes up at the very least every now and then. Example, when I checked to see what Sporting News said about the Saints 2013 Draft Class this is what I found.
— 2014 NFL Draft preview: Clemson's Clowney early favorite for No. 1 pick
Oh snaps! Now a lot of folks know exactly who Jadeveon Clowny is but I'm quite sure that not everyone knows where Mr. Clowney plays college football. With that said I’m sure the inbox and voice mail to the SN was peppered with both Gamecocks and Tigers Fans about that line above. Clowney plays for the Ole Ball coach at South Carolina and the Gamecocks’ biggest and most hated rival, you guessed it, is Clemson. Ouch, that one hurts SN!
New Orleans Saints: The Saints got their key components for Rob Ryan's new 3-4 defense, a terrific all-around safety with good blitzing pop (Texas' Kenny Vaccaro) and an ideal nose tackle (Georgia's John Jenkins.) But this is the Saints, so we look to their offensive steals. They should feel good about turning athletic Arkansas-Pine Bluff Terron Armstead into a rock of a left tackle given their small-school history with linemen (see Jahri Evans, Jermon Bushrod.) Oklahoma wide receiver Kenny Stills has the skills to thrive with Drew Brees, too.
Up next, the guys over at CBSsports.com gave their take
on how the Saints did. CBS Sports is a very good site in my opinion and they do have so good folks that put together some good stuff on each team. Here is what the Columbia Broadcasting System’s sports web site said about the Black and Gold:
New Orleans Saints- The road to the NFC South Division crown now runs through Atlanta and its dynamic passing attack, so the top cover safety in the draft, Kenny Vaccaro, makes sense in the first round. Really like the selection of highly athletic offensive tackle Terron Armstead as a potential replacement for Jermon Bushrod at left tackle. Armstead wowed at the East-West Shrine Game and improved throughout Senior Bowl week as a late addition before his eye-popping combine workout. If big Jon Jenkins can stay away from the po'boys, he could be a star in New Orleans. Watch out for wide receiver Kenny Stills as well. Sean Payton has shown a willingness to let young receivers earn roles, and Stills has the size, athleticism and swagger to become a trusted outlet for Drew Brees. I like the Saints' class, as a whole, but was disappointed that more help wasn't brought to the pass rush. Grade: B-
Now on to the four letter network, ESPN. ESPN began broadcasting coverage of the NFL Draft back in 1980 and since then the Draft has become a must-see and must-listen ritual for those football crazed fans that can’t go get a quart of milk without knowing what their team did. Here’s what ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. had to say
about the Saints!
"Welcome back, New Orleans. Last year, the Saints were basically shut out, with no picks in either Round 1 or 2. This year, they got some pretty good players at a few different spots. Kenny Vaccaro is the best safety in what is a really good draft class of safeties, so getting him at No. 15 was by no means a reach, particularly when that's a big need for this defense. Terron Armstead was a pretty good value at another need position all the way down at No. 75. He's an extremely athletic left tackle prospect. The problem is he needs time to develop, and that position looks really shaky headed into 2013. John Jenkins is a huge, high-effort defensive tackle who can play immediately. If there's a big question for New Orleans, it's whether it should have taken Jarvis Jones at No. 15, because the Saints could use a pass-rusher. But they got better over these three days." Kiper gave the Saints a B on their draft class.
The four letter network’s biggest competitor, Fox Sports.com had several different folks give their breakdown of the draft. Fox Sports.com used their experts to give their take on each draft class of every NFL Team. Of the three, Alex Marvez gave the Saints a B+ and said that safety Kenny Vaccaro would push Roman Harper for the starting job, and he also gave high marks to Saints OT Terron Armstead. Another Fox Analyst, Floyd Engel, said that new Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro is the real deal. Other comments from Fox included a prediction that Kenny Vaccaro will be a star in the NFL and the guys at Fox Sports.com loved the big linemen the Saints drafted.
The Saints ought to be thrilled with S Kenny Vaccaro, their first-round selection. They were not on the clock for 60 selections after that and only made five total picks. The best of the rest might be DT John Jenkins, who’s faster than he looks. OT Terron Armstead was a value at 75, but he will not help the Saints’ issues at tackle until at least 2014. Grade: C
Other SI notes came from writer Don Banks. Banks has come on the show with Bobby and me a few times, and he pointed out a few things from this past weekend’s NFL Draft. Here is what Mr. Banks had to say:
“The NFL is big on having guest selection announcers in the second and third rounds in recent years, but I'm not sure it will ever top Friday's highlight in that department: Former New Orleans Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason, who is wheelchair-bound and suffering in his fight against ALS, came on stage and announced the Saints' third-round pick of Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead.
In order to communicate these days, Gleason has to look at a computer screen and spell words by looking at letters one at a time. Then the screen translates those words into his pre-recorded voice, and that's how he "announced'' the Saints pick. It was a moment that rendered so much of the pomp and silliness that goes on at the draft utterly irrelevant.”
Banks also gave a nod of praise to the Saints in the club being able to trade Chris Ivory and get another pick. “It didn't get much notice Friday night, but kudos to the Saints for getting a fourth-round pick out of running back Chris Ivory in a trade. New Orleans sent him to the Jets, as long rumored, for New York's fourth-rounder, 106th overall. Ivory went undrafted in 2010, led the team in rushing as a rookie, and the Saints wound up getting three seasons and a decent mid-round draft choice out of him. That's the way you win the personnel wars in the NFL,” Banks said.