The Saints odd 2020 NFL Draft prepared them well for 2021 offseason

Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints drafted three players in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, and they’ll all play big roles in 2021.

The 2020 draft wasn’t meant to be the most impactful in 2020, but it will help the team recover from what could be a traumatizing offseason. The Saints, even with the salary cap looking like it’ll be higher than expected, still are over $70 million in the hole and will need to dig their way out.

That means they won’t be able to bring back players like Alex Anzalone, Kwon Alexander, Nick Easton, Jared Cook, Sheldon Rankins, Trey Hendrickson, Marcus Williams, and several others this offseason.

While they may be able to secure a few of them on the team for the long-term future, it’s looking like most may find another city to call home. While that’s not ideal, Mickey Loomis is going to have to do something, and the 2020 draft showed that he already has.

The team added Dayton standout Adam Trautman. The rookie didn’t do much in 2020, but with Cook unlikely to return, he may get the keys to the starting tight end role for the Saints next season.

The next one on the list is Zack Baun. Baun was an outside linebacker at the team brought in from Wisconsin. The Saints did have a need at linebacker, but at the time, they had Kiko Alonso, Demario Davis, and Alex Anzalone among others.

With Alonso having been traded and both Anzalone and Alexander potentially not being with the team next season, having an up-and-coming player in Baun could serve the team well.  Both Trautman and Baun were taken in the third round.

With their first-round pick, the Saints brought in Cesar Ruiz, an offensive lineman from Michigan. He was among the most-skilled lineman selected. His rookie season could’ve been better, but he’s going to be a solid starter for quite a while to come.

That said, the Saints, with Andrus Peat, Ryan Ramczyk, Erik McCoy, and Terron Armstead likely coming back in 2021, should have a solid offensive line, and without Easton, it will be one that’s without too much depth. His contract may just be too much for a backup.

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As we can see, Payton and Loomis played the 2020 draft well and prepared for the future while ensuring that Drew Brees had the protection he needed during the season. That type of thinking is what will keep the Saints among the best teams in the NFC for years to come.