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Saints Earn an ‘C+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got an average grade is that of the Saints, who according to Kiper got an ‘C+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The Saints had one of the best immediate-return draft classes of the last 10 years this past season. Marshon Lattimore. Ryan Ramczyk. Marcus Williams. Alvin Kamara. Alex Anzalone. I mean … are you kidding? Add that much talent in one shot, then factor in a 39-year-old quarterback, and you figure you might be willing to take a risk or two.

Well, I get it. They have a big need, and they’re going for it. I also have to grade these in a vacuum, and by that measure this class is a big question mark. The Saints gave up a whopper of a package — next year’s first-round pick and a 2018 fifth-rounder — to move up to take Marcus Davenport, a pass-rusher out of Texas-San Antonio. The kid’s got upside, but that’s serious value. This after they were already down a second-rounder in this draft due to a previous trade. Tre’Quan Smith (pick 91) was a decent value at a need position — can Ted Ginn Jr. play forever? — and Rick Leonard (127) is an interesting bet at tackle. Kamrin Moore (189) has the chance to stick in this secondary, though it’s not nearly as thin back there as it was a couple years ago.

The Saints are a Super Bowl contender. It’s clear they feel added pass-rush help could be a difference-maker in that pursuit. If Drew Brees gets another Lombardi, it’ll all be worth it. If not, they gave up a lot.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/14 Marcus Davenport DE UT SAN ANTONIO
3/91 Tre’Quan Smith WR UCF
4/127 Rick Leonard OT FLORIDA STATE
5/164 Natrell Jamerson S WISCONSIN
6/189 Kamrin Moore CB BOSTON COLLEGE
6/201 Boston Scott RB LOUISIANA TECH
7/245 Will Clapp G LSU

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