It’s not that I don’t think Vaccaro is a good football player. It’s not that I don’t think he is the best safety in this year’s draft. It’s that I’m a believer in pass rush making the back end look better and not vice versa. Kenny Vaccaro is a versatile safety who can also play in the nickel corner role, has solid fundamentals and is a tackling machine (something the woeful Saints defense lacks). According to Payton, Vaccaro is the player that the Saints draft team was enamored with.
Jones, Ogletree, Williams and Floyd were all still on the board at the Saints’ pick and that’s the only reason that I’m not fully behind this pick. Honestly, it’s just Jones. Anyone with eyes could see that he was a dominant force at outside linebacker for Georgia, not to mention that he was a constant impact player and leader for them. And now he replaces James Harrison in Pittsburgh on a Dick LeBeau run defense. Great. The flip side of that is the rumblings heard last night that if we’d taken Jones, the Steelers were going to take Vaccaro.
Don’t get me wrong, and let it be noted that I only speak for myself. I think Vaccaro is going to be a good fit for this team, has shown what he can do at the college level and was a safe pick considering the lack of first round talent in this year’s draft. (Anyone really, really peeved right now that we don’t have a 2nd rounder tonight? Anyone? We should all just move on, right?) Taking into consideration the likelihood that Roman Harper is going to be cut after this year (or as some fans think, as early as training camp), Vaccaro may well have been the smartest pick possible and I’m just an impatient imbecile who likes seeing the Saints defense harass the quarterback.
The more I read on Vaccaro, the more I like him as a Saint and think he will make this defense better. You probably will too.
Now, back to that whole pass rush thing. Junior Galette and Martez Wilson were giving each other bro-hugs last night when the pick came in. Galette tweeted as much, in his own interesting language, last night. Can you blame them? I’ve been on the Galette train since he was at Temple and couldn’t believe it when he went undrafted. Neither could he, and he has elevated his game since signing with the Saints and looks to be ready for 1,000+ snaps this year. If you multiply his and Wilson’s production from their limited snaps (which, yes, I know is totally unscientific) they look ready to be the game changing playmakers this defense needs. Or so I pray.
So, day two is here. What are the Saints going to do? What’s up with Chris Ivory to the Jets? Is there any possibility that he garners a 2nd rounder with a swap of some late round picks or future picks?
Here is what I’d consider a decent list of the best 40 players left on the board. Of those 40, I’d say 7 are pass rushers that the Saints would consider drafting. Tank Carradine, Margus Hunt, Damontre Moore, Alex Okafor, Jamie Collins, Khaseem Greene and Sam Montgomrey are those seven guys. The only problem being the lack of a 2nd round pick. Rounds two and three are where the talent really seems to lie in this draft, as Mickey Loomis stated last week when saying that there weren’t more than 15 players on their draft board with a first round grade, while having 50+ guys graded in the second. Yeah, the second.
As it stands right now, I know nothing. It’s nearly impossible to give the Saints a grade on the first round pick until the draft has concluded. If we somehow manage to come out of this draft with depth and/or competition at OLB, DL, OT, and a luxury offensive player, I’ll be okay with the way things played out. But until it’s over, I am going to remain ambivalent. I don’t see any other option.