The New Orleans Saints’ seven draft picks this year will most likely become the cherries on top of this ever-improving roster.
If there’s any coach/GM combination in the NFL that hasn’t lived up to recent expectations but still shouldn’t be on the hot seat, it’s Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis. Even after 3 consecutive seasons with 7-9 regular seasons records, Payton and Loomis continue to thrive while building a potential-top-ten team in the league in the New Orleans Saints. The draftings of Michael Thomas and Sheldon Rankins seem to be panning out very well. Retaining Drew Brees while making sure he is healthy and protected is arguably the smartest move by the two. Mark Ingram’s development into a Pro Bowl running back has been amazing to watch. As has the development of All-Pro DE Cameron Jordan.
The Saints selected Ingram and Jordan in the same draft five years ago, just four picks apart (24th and 28th, respectively). Minus two questionable trades (Darren Sproles and Brandin Cooks), Loomis has a fantastic track record of finding and keeping great players for Payton to coach to the next level. Marques Colston, one of the best wide receivers in Saints history, was a 7th round draft pick. Brees was passed up by Miami due to shoulder health concerns. Loomis took a chance on the shaky quarterback, and, ever since, Brees has made history and ensured himself a Hall of Fame spot.
Brees’ signing, Payton’s hiring and the drafting of college phenom Reggie Bush ignited a new team and culture for New Orleans. That era was capped off (and slowly followed behind afterward) by a Super Bowl victory in the 2009-2010 season. Now, just seven years removed, the Saints find themselves in prime position to compete for another Lombardi Trophy. On top of that, the upcoming draft could further increase those chances tenfold. Here’s why.