The New Orleans Saints 2018 NFL Draft was polarizing, to say the least. Post-draft analysis had the Saints receiving both accolades and harsh criticism from analysists and fans alike. Ask 10 people where the Saints best and wort selection of 2018 and you may get 10 different answers. Well, we didn’t ask 10, but rather just one in Managing Editor of Canal Street Chronicles, John Hendrix (Twitter handle: @JohnJHendrix)
New Orleans Saints 2018 NFL Draft Highs and Lows
The Saints best move in the past three years may have been adding Assistant GM and College Scouting Director, Jeff Ireland. In the first two drafts that Ireland helped manage, the Saints had every selection make the roster. This trend may have been, in part, due to the team’s three consecutive 7-9 seasons. Disappointing records will naturally open up roster spots. In 2018, after an 11-5 season, a division crown and a playoff win, needs are fewer as are roster spots. It’s highly unlikely that all the 2018 draft picks of the New Orleans Saints make the active roster.
Before getting into who the best and worst picks may have been for the Saints, here is a refresher of their 2018 draft class:
Marcus Davenport (pick 14) DE, UTSA
Tre’Quan Smith (pick 91) WR, UCF
Rick Leonard (pick 127) T, FSU
Natrell Jamerson (pick 164) DB, Wisconsin
Kamrin Moore (pick 189) CB, Boston College
Boston Scott (pick 201) RB, La Tech
Will Clapp (pick 245) center, LSU
The Best Selection
John Hendrix was asked who he thought was the best pick in the draft for the New Orleans Saints this year. “It’s tempting to say that the team’s first pick in Marcus Davenport was the best pick for the Saints, but I’d be inclined to go with Tre’Quan Smith. I believe he fell into the perfect offense that will use him and cater to his strengths.” Hendrix continued, “Mickey Loomis praised his blocking, which helps his case to see some playing time. Pairing with Curtis Johnson should only help Smith develop, and I look for a few big plays from him as a rookie, perhaps similar to what Joe Morgan did in his 2012 season.”
While Joe Morgan finished his rookie campaign with only 10 catches, he made the most of them, netting a whopping 37.9 yards per catch average and finding the end zone on three of those catches.
The Worst Selection
“As for the worst pick, there’s clearly value in all the positions the Saints drafted. Kamrin Moore isn’t necessarily someone I’d dub as the worst pick in my eyes, but he has the most uphill battle out of anyone”, Hendrix explained. He would then go on to explain how the Saints defense is crowded with talent at the corner position and makes for an uphill battle for Moore. “New Orleans has established corners in Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley, and Patrick Robinson will most likely handle all slot duties. We’re not sure what we’ll get with P.J. Williams this season, but in a contract year, the hope would be that he elevates his game. After that, Justin Hardee and Arthur Maulet are the heavy favorites, especially for their special teams work. If Moore wants to find a way onto the roster, then he has to shine consistently and learn quickly.”
Again, it’s tough to imagine all of the selections making the 2018 Saints roster. We may see more than one rookie forced onto the practice squad, but depth is something that is welcome in New Orleans after it has haunted the franchise in recent years. It’ll be interesting to see how this off-season plays out, but it’s tough to bet against Jeff Ireland at this point. And while many have very different opinions of both the individual players and the overall draft this year, this off-season and pre-season should bring the variance of opinions closer together.
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