Grading Day 2 of the New Orleans Saints draft

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Nov 7, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) catches a touchdown pass under pressure from Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun (29) at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) catches a touchdown pass under pressure from Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun (29) at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports /
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The second day of the NFL Draft didn’t disappoint for the New Orleans Saints, as the team managed to get two second round picks for the night.

The Saints patiently waited while pass rushers and linebackers kept disappearing off the board. At one point, the team was in a place to draft Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair. However, the team drafted two players they were familiar with through visits and such.

No. 47 – Michael Thomas, WR (Ohio State)

The 6-foot-3, 212-pound wide receiver is the nephew of wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. He’s been called an exceptional route-runner, and makes defenders look downright silly in the process. The Saints could use him in many ways, but he’ll be big in the short game running slants. Thomas told the media that New Orleans was his top choice, and the he fell in love with the city when he played at the Superdome during the College Football playoffs against Alabama.

Thomas will be the eighth wide receiver on the roster, and instantly pens in among the top three conversation with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. He does need some work on run blocking, but should pair well with wide receivers coach John Morton. Along with the other dynamic weapons of the Saints offense, this promises to be another Top 10 unit.

Grade: A-

No. 61 – Vonn Bell, S (Ohio State)

The Saints weren’t content to wait until No. 78 to take their next player, and traded up with the New England Patriots to take another Ohio State prospect. What they gained was a safety that can ball-hawk and could insert himself in nickel packages immediately, but was it worth the price tag? The team sent their third and fourth round pick in the trade. It seems a bit rough on the surface, but it actually favors the team according to the draft calculator.

If you can believe it, the Pro Football Focus comparison for Bell is Jairus Byrd. Christopher Johnson, who actually breaks down Ohio State’s film, says that Bell is pure free safety with corner cover skills. He added that he makes big plays in big games. Bell told the media that Sean Payton called him a few times over the past couple of weeks, and requested video of him doing different things.

I had more pressing needs for the team other than a safety, but they really got something special with Bell.

Grade: B-

The Saints will not pick again until the fifth round at No. 152 overall, unless they choose to dip into the 2017 NFL Draft cookie jar of picks to take someone or use their fifth and seventh rounder. The fact that the team passed on Whitehair and traded away some promising picks says a lot about their confidence in guards Senio Kelemete and Tim Lelito.

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