2011 NFL Draft Grades | New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints went from defending champions to first-round losers, inexplicably by the hands of the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks. While still immensely talented, there were clearly some things missing from the exciting team that one a Super Bowl the year ago. Albeit not much, but there were still holes to be filled.
Read on to see how the Saints did in their attempts to put a complete team on the field for 2011:
Round 1 (Pick 24) - Cameron Jordan, DE, California
The Saints need youth and talent on their defensive line, and Cameron Jordan, a top-10 talent, falls right into their lap. Bliss.
Round 1 (Pick 28) - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Another great situation for the Saints. With injuries and inconsistency scaring them away from Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas, and Reggie Bush, New Orleans lands arguably the most talented runner in the draft. This pick solidifies the running back position, as Ingram is a fairly safe bet to take over as the top back right away.
Round 3 (pick 72) - Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
New Orleans simply adds some depth to their line-backer corps, and in doing so get a very talented and pro-ready ‘backer in Wilson. I like the value here, as Wilson has the tools and smarts to compete to play in year one.
Round 3 (Pick 88) - Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
Patrick is a solid corner with some nice potential, and he’s coming into a situation where New Orleans isn’t in terrible trouble. Patrick will be allowed to work his way into whatever role the Saints want him to fill. The talent/value mix is solid here in the third round.
Round 7 (Pick 226) - Greg Romeus, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
The Saints grab up a very versatile and talented Romeus, who can have gone a round or two earlier. Another good value and depth add, the Saints continue to bolster their already solid defense.
Round 7 (Pick 243) – Nate Bussey, LB, Illinois
I’m not high on Bussey and doubt he even makes the team, but he’s not a bad prospect and he could help on special teams if he sticks.
As if New Orleans wasn’t already talented and loaded enough. With a truly great, well-rounded 2011 draft class, the Saints should have no trouble putting together another long playoff run. They filled some major needs, got more than a handful of draft steals, and simply got more talented in several areas.
Overall Grade: A-