Saints Players Rankings: First-round rookie Cesar Ruiz ranked No. 22

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Saints Cesar Ruiz makes it at No. 22 despite being a rookie. The 21-year-old will likely replace former right guard Larry Warford who was cut this offseason.

Entering the 2020 NFL draft, Cesar Ruiz was for the most part seen as the consensus No. 1 interior offensive lineman according to some scouts. The Saints clearly took their advice and drafted him 24th overall.

The 6-foot-3, 307-pound lineman takes pride in his ability to study the playbook and be the leader of any offensive line he’s on.

Ruiz did exactly that at Michigan, starting out as a right guard his freshman year, then moving to center and being the leader and centerpiece on the line his sophomore and senior year.

Only 21, Ruiz is more technically sound than the average rookie interior offensive lineman.

On top of this, Ruiz is very athletic, at the NFL combine Ruiz scored above the 80th percentile in hand size, 20-yard shuttle, broad jump, vertical, and 20-yard split. The rookie also had a 5.08 40-yard dash and 28 bench presses which scored above 74th percentile.

"Saints offensive line coach has been “super impressed” by Cesar Ruiz"

Ruiz will be much different from Warford at right guard. Unlike Warford, Ruiz will not blow you away with his size, however his underrated strength, athleticism, and overall knowledge will take some players by surprise.

Also, Ruiz’s ability to get to the 2nd level will be crucial for Alvin Kamara in the run game and because of this we could see a noticeable improvement in Kamara’s production.

As for his pass protection, Ruiz’s strength should allow him to hold his own against many of the interior rushers in the league.

Ruiz is very smart and will be able to pick up blitzes and double team certain linemen when necessary which could potentially nullify interior pass-rushing during some stretches of the game, giving Brees more time to make his throws.

It is rare you find a lineman as versatile, powerful, and promising as Cesar Ruiz in the 1st round. He will make an immediate impact on the Saints offensive line and will earn his spot as a consensus top 25 player for the Saints each year for several years to come.

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Among out 12 writers, Ruiz’s average rank was 20.4 and he missed the top-25 three times.