Day two of the NFL draft continued to only build our anticipation for the regular season to start. Now that we’ve had some time to let the 58th overall selection of Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste sink in, it’s time to look a little deeper into this pick.
I proudly give you a combination of reasons, thoughts, and beliefs why this pick makes sense for the New Orleans Saints.
1. You Can’t Have Enough Corners
As we’ve noticed in the past few seasons, there’s never a reason to not have ample depth on defense. Last year, the Saints were depleted with injuries. Fortunately, there were plenty of younger players that were more than willing to answer the call to action. I’m not saying that Patrick Robinson won’t be ready to go in Week One, but given that Champ Bailey is a bit seasoned, coupled with some potential injury hazards, then this pick makes all the sense in the world.
2. The Saints Did Their Homework
If you recall (and even if you don’t, it’s okay), the Saints brought in a plethora of secondary prospects on May 2nd to the team’s facility in Metairie, LA. As always, the team scouts know why they get paid. It’s not always about the best player in the NFL Draft, but it’s definitely about the right player for the New Orleans Saints. When teams bring in players for a visit, they get to do their own form of an interview and audition. I won’t spoil for you what Sean Payton has said about this young man, but that’s all the more to keep reading.
3. The Comparisons
He’s been compared to Brandon Browner of the Washington Redskins, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks. Jean-Baptiste has also been compared directly to Richard Sherman of the Seahawks. I don’t have to tell you that the Seahawks have a perfect recipe for defense.
“I heard all of the rumors and all of the details. I was paying attention to everything they’re saying. I think it had a big part to play in it, but hopefully the Saints picked me for the person I am and the skills that I bring.” -Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Aside from the fact that both Sherman and Jean-Baptiste were converted from wide receiver to corner, here’s some of the ways they compare:
|Stanley Jean-Baptiste||6’3″||218 lbs||41.5″||4.61 sec||128″||32 3/8″|
|Richard Sherman||6’3″||195 lbs||38″||4.54 sec||125″||32″|
If the Saints indeed have a clone that plays at least 70% of the level Sherman does, then there’s a winner.
4. His Growth Path
Let’s just say that Jean-Baptiste has already been talked about as a potential successor to Champ Bailey as the Saints number two corner in the next few years. While that might be a little early to state that, it does make sense. Jean-Baptiste, along with the younger players on the team, will flourish from the teachings/lessons of Champ Bailey. When you couple that with Rob Ryan’s ability as a coach, then it’s scary to think what every player could evolve into. Jean-Baptiste faces a lot of competition in the secondary, but I firmly believe his size and track record should help him push up the depth chart.
5. I Trust Sean Payton & Mickey Loomis
Ultimately, it seems like anyone can default to this reason for a pick. However, let’s just see what Payton said about Jean-Baptiste:
“He was our highest-rated prospect. There was a gap with grades when it comes to corner after the handful of first round prospects. I’m sure those grades throughout the league were mixed. Then it gets a little bit more challenging. Stan was someone that was separate from the guys on our board. It ended up being a good fit for us.”
If you follow that link, you’ll further find that Sean Payton talks about the importance of role players on the team. Rob Ryan will most definitely put Jean-Baptiste where he is best suited. That’s why you shouldn’t worry necessarily about the talent or scouting profiles, let Ryan do his thing.
Overall: Stanley Jean-Baptiste should likely be a number three or four corner on the Saints depth chart, and looks to be a true cover corner. His presence could mean that Patrick Robinson will be playing more as a slot cover cornerback this year. Jean-Baptiste will be a great site to watch in training camp and preseason. Let’s just hope the announcers can get his name right, and you Louisianians know what I mean. Good job Morten Andersen!
Final Grade: B
As a reminder, the final day of the 2014 NFL Draft starts at 11AM CST/12PM ET. The Saints will have four picks today, assuming there are no trades. The team should look for a potential guard or two today, and may find an outside linebacker that fits the 3-4 mold. De’Anthony Thomas is still out there.
Round 4 – #126th Overall
Round 5 – #167 Overall (Acquired via Eagles)
Round 5 – #169 Overall
Round 6 – #202 Overall
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