The New Orleans Saints took Ryan Ramczyk with the 32nd overall pick, closing off the first round by addressing their offensive line.
A lot went into choosing Ryan Ramczyk. But not a lot that will give Saints fans pause from their frustration.
The Saints badly needed two things entering the NFL draft: cornerbacks and defensive ends. They addressed that first need in just about the biggest possible way they could, landing Marshon Lattimore at 11 after runs on quarterbacks and receivers pushed him down the board. Common sense suggested they’d address the pass rush at 32.
That didn’t happen. The Saints are a BPA team, and Ryan Ramczyk was the best player available.
Saints fans may not have gotten that dominant edge rusher they so badly wanted — YET. And for now, the pick is going to find its share of critics. But I’m behind it.
Ramczyk falling into the second round, with the lack of depth in this OL class and the depth at DE and other defensive positions, would have been baffling. He’s the second best lineman in the class, and he plays a position that the Saints will almost certainly need by the end of the year. This move demonstrated good foresight. Yes, the Saints need an EDGE rusher today. But they landed a great tackle who will solidify this offensive line for years to come.
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Zach Strief and Terron Armstead are both monsters. But Strief is 33 and there’s no telling when the wheels will fall off. Armstead is great when healthy, but has been nagged by injuries since entering the league. The Saints had no viable backups behind them.
Ramczyk is a smart, athletic, strong tackle. He projected on the left side, but the Saints needs behind Zach Strief probably point him towards the right. He’s got great quickness and wonderful technique, using his somewhat short arms to the best of their ability.
Short arms are really the only knock on him. And there’s aboslutely no reason to suspect from the tape that those arms will at all limit his ability to anchor down an offensive line. He’s very aware off blitzes and stunts, and will have some time to work behind Zach Strief. Unless, of course, he wins the starting job outright in the offseason. Which is very much possible.