Saints Draft Encouraging

Competition should be name of the game this preseason

       A week after the 2016 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints are earning high grades and being heralded for their sensible, need-based selections, as well as their undrafted free agent signings.

       Their big get is first round draft choice Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (6’1”, 300 pounds). The 12th overall pick will plug a big hole on the defensive line, and from all accounts has a strong character and will emerge as a leader in the locker room.

       With their second round pick, they chose Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas (47th overall). He is a big target for quarterback Drew Brees, and the Saints will look to him to fill the void left by Marques Colston.

       The Saints then traded their third, fourth and fifth round choices in order to pick up Ohio State safety Vonn Bell later in the second round (61st overall). Bell will compete for a starting job and should see a lot of action this fall.

       In the fourth round they picked up David Onyemata, a prospect out of Manitoba (Canada) who projects as either a defensive tackle or end.    

       In the final round, they picked up California running back Daniel Lasco, who slipped due to injury, but could make the roster as a special teams standout.

       When the draft closed the Saints went to work, signing a number of undrafted free agent defensive backs, offensive linemen and receivers, many who played their college ball in top-flight conferences such as the SEC, PAC 12 and BIG 10.

       The Saints gave up an NFL worst 29.8 points per game last year, so the focus on getting several new, young players on the team to improve the defense is encouraging.

       The addition of new three receivers should drive competition and provide some spark to camp this summer.   


Saints 2016 Draft Choices & Free Agent Signings

Round (Overall)                    Player                      Position               College

1 (12)                             Sheldon Rankins                  DT                    Louisville

2 (47)                             Michael Thomas                  WR                   Ohio State

2 (61)                             Vonn Bell                               S                     Ohio State

4 (120)                           David Onyemata                  DT                    Manitoba                  

7 (237)                           Daniel Lasco                        RB                    California

FA                                  Landon Turner                     OG                North Carolina

FA                                  Avery Young                        OG                     Auburn

FA                                  Ryker Mathews                   OT                        BYU

FA                                  Jack Allen                            C                  Michigan State

FA                                  Marcus Henry                      C                    Boise State

FA                                  Jordan Williams                  WR                   Ball State

FA                                  Jared Dangerfield               WR                 W. Kentucky

FA                                  De’Vante Harris                   CB                 Texas A&M

FA                                  Ken Crawley                       CB                   Colorado

FA                                  Trae Elston                           S                    Ole Miss

FA                                  Michael Caputo                   S                   Wisconsin     

FA                                  D.J. Pettway                       DE                   Alabama








Categories: The Pennant Chase