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Grading the New Orleans Saints top 3 draft picks from 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Cesar Ruiz #51 of the New Orleans Saints blocks Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Cesar Ruiz #51 of the New Orleans Saints blocks Fletcher Cox #91 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The New Orleans Saints, after multiple trades with multiple teams, found themselves finishing with one first-round pick, two third-round picks, and one seventh-round pick. After their rookie years have completed, let’s look back and see just how well the team ended up drafting.

Round 1, Pick 24: Cesar Ruiz, C/G

Cesar Ruiz was a surprise pick in round one. Most fans have the team drafting a receiver or a linebacker with this pick, but Sean Payton had other ideas. Since they were able to draft the versatile offensive lineman, the team cut former Pro-Bowl lineman Larry Warford.

All of a sudden, everything made sense. Now, Ruiz was thrust into the starting lineup. He dealt with some early season injuries, but he ended up starting in nine games and appearing in six other games throughout his rookie season. He has a bright future ahead of him.

Grade: A-

As we head into another NFL Draft, let’s take a look back to the last NFL Draft and see just how good the Saints did with their picks.

Round 3, Pick 74: Zack Baun, LB

This No. 74 pick came from a draft-day trade with the Cleveland Browns. The team drafted a much-needed linebacker. Baun hasn’t panned out as much as they would have hoped, but they did trade and get Kwon Alexander in the middle of the season.

Baun played in 15 games this season but only started in three of them. He totaled 12 tackles and one tackle for a loss on the season. It was a very uneventful rookie season for the Saints’ second 2020 NFL Draft pick.

Grade: C (so far, things might change as he gets opportunities)

Round 3, Pick, 105: Adam Trautman, TE

Adam Trautman was the result of another draft-day trade that the New Orleans Saints. Like Baun, Trautman didn’t get too much playing time behind big endzone target Jared Cook, but he did get several shots to shine which he did.

He finished his rookie year with 15 receptions for 171 yards and a solo touchdown. With Cook now gone, Trautman’s sophomore year in the NFL is shaping up to be a big one.

Grade: A

Next. Top 30 players in Saints history. dark

Round 7, Pick 240: Tommy Stevens, QB

Tommy Stevens, the last Saints pick in 2020, really didn’t do much with the team. It was rumored post-draft that the Saints just drafted him so that the Panthers didn’t get him. Stevens ended up being cut by the Saints and signed by the Panthers.

Grade: D+

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