NFL.com and the Move The Sticks podcast did a series on the ideal top two picks for every team.
Their pairing for the New Orleans Saints is horrible. Flat out bad. Saints fans would understandably riot. But what do you expect? It’s NFL.com.
Let’s start it off with a look at who they pair with above the New Orleans Saints in the draft order. They haven’t done every team yet, but so far it looks like when the Saints take the podium, all of Garrett, Lattimore, Mike Williams, Fournette, Hooker, Adams are off the board. I’m not quite sure how they’re figuring who will be available, as they have a few players going to multiple teams. They have Lattimore going to the Jets and to the Titans. Mike Williams to the Bengals and the Bills. Fournette to the Jags and the Panthers. So the situation seems to be, pick a player that has a reasonable chance to fall, but will absolutely not pass this team. Fair enough.
They haven’t done the 49ers yet. Three players have been picked twice. But Jonathan Allen, Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, Derek Barnett, Haason Reddick, Gareon Conley, Marlon Humphrey, Taco Charlton are all still on the board. So, with the 11th pick in the draft, Daniel Jeremiah has the New Orleans Saints select… *drum roll*…
Well, at least they got the position right.
In Jeremiah’s defense, McKinley is the right sort of player for the Saints. He’s an explosive, athletic pass rusher. He has a high motor and a great first step.
But he’s raw. Why the hell would we want a raw DE prospect with the 11th pick when we so badly need a starter there? And with Barnett and Reddick still on the board. And in that vein, if we’re going with a raw prospect, why the hell would we not take Taco?
Let’s see what they had to say to explain themselves:
"When the (draft) process started, we were talking about him in the late teens, early 20s. I think he’s back up here in the mix right around the top 10 because he’s so explosive off the edge. The effort just blows you away with how hard he plays."
Hm. Not a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy to have McKinley in Black and Gold. In the second round. He’s not regularly being mocked into the first, much less in the top 15. With so many talented players still on the board, I just don’t understand the pick. Why not go Barnett? Why not Foster!? I just don’t get it.
Anyway, moving on.
Bucky Brooks handled the Saints’ pick at 32. And again, at least he got the position right.
With the 32nd pick, the New Orleans Saints select…
Again, I see where they’re coming from. Cornerback is absolutely the ideal pairing after an EDGE rusher, and the 32nd pick seems like a wonderful place to make that move. Jackson has added value as a return man, something the Saints badly need (unless Ginn can fill that role).
But Jackson? Really, at 32? Let’s see their explanation.
"He really could be a three-phase player on defense, special teams, and offense as an occasional gadget player. He’s not quite polished at corner, but he could be a Pro Bowl punt returner from Day 1."
It’s true, teams are allegedly interested in Jackson playing offense. With all the talk of the Saints wanting a satellite back, Joker-type player, maybe that steered Bucky towards this pairing.
But, come on. “He’s not quite polished at corner.” THEN WHY THE HELL ARE WE PICKING HIM IN THE FIRST ROUND?
And yes, I do think “not quite polished” is an accurate description of Jackson. He’s a great athlete, but he lacks cover skills. That makes for not one but TWO project players for the Saints in the first round. When we desperately need starters.
With an unprecedently deep CB class, there are easily six better cornerback prospects than Jackson. And the Saints don’t need another question-mark in their secondary. If they don’t trade from Malcolm Butler, they need a starter opposite Delvin Breaux. That is not Adoree Jackson.
I don’t know why I get so worked up about it, it doesn’t mean anything in the long run. It would be nice if the NFL could start pushing out some solid original content. But I guess that’s just too much to ask for from the billion dollar entity that is the NFL.