Grading New Orleans Saints drafts under Jeff Ireland

Najy Masri
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport of UTSA poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #14 overall by the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport of UTSA poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #14 overall by the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Day 2 / Second Round / Third Round

  • 2015: Hau’oli Kikaha (1pt), Garrett Grayson (1pt), PJ Williams (3pt)
  • 2016: Michael Thomas (4pt), Vonn Bell (3pt)
  • 2017: Marcus Williams (4pt), Alvin Kamara (4pt), Alex Anzalone (2pt), Trey Hendrickson (4pt)
  • 2018: Tre’Quan Smith (2pt)
  • 2019: Erik McCoy (4pt)
  • 2020: Zack Baun (2pt), Adam Trautman (3pt)
  • 2021: Pete Werner (3pt), Paulson Adebo (3pt)

Composite Score: 2.87

Analysis: Day 2 has been where the Loomis and Ireland combination have excelled. To have a composite score for your Day 2 picks to match your Day 1 picks is outstanding.

The Saints selected four Pro Bowl-caliber players in a two-year span from 2016-2017, each of whom is now near the top of their respective positions in salary. In addition, Loomis and Ireland made up for the loss of the 2019 first-round pick in the Davenport trade with the selection of Erik McCoy on Day 2.

The trade-up for Paulson Adebo in this past draft has solidified the cornerback spot opposite Marshon Lattimore for the near future. On the flip side, Hau’oli Kikaha and Zack Baun continued a horrific run on Saints linebacker selections that predates the arrival of Jeff Ireland.

Fortunately, the Saints seem to have found a keeper in this past year’s selection of Pete Werner, the heir apparent to Kwon Alexander if and when he is no longer with the Saints.

Using a Day 2 selection on a quarterback has not fared well for the Saints in the selection of Garrett Grayson in 2015 and Ian Book last year, although Book’s lone start this year is marred with asterisks due to circumstances surrounding a truncated Saints roster due to COVID.

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