If the New Orleans Saints could hit the reset button on any of their draft picks over the past 10 years and target someone else, who would it be? Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report says it’d be to select Jaire Alexander.
In Davenport’s article, he goes through every NFL team and picks one player that the team wishes they had drafted over the past decade. Alexander was his pick for the Saints and here’s what he had to say as to why:
"Jaire Alexander has been a fixture in the Green Bay secondary since his rookie season, making 42 starts over his first three years. Two seasons ago, Alexander set career highs in both completion percentage against (51.3 percent) and passer rating against (67.4) on the way to his first Pro Bowl nod.Alexander’s 2021 season was a disappointment (he missed the majority of the year with a shoulder injury), but healthy, he and Marshon Lattimore would form a duo in the secondary that would strike fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks."
As we all know, New Orleans traded up in the first round to acquire Marcus Davenport and until this past year, it looked like a horrible move. Davenport struggled with inconsistencies and injuries through the first three years of his career but turned the corner in 2021 and fortunately, the Saints took a risk and exercised his fifth-year option.
Saints take Jaire Alexander in “draft do-over”
Alexander, on the other hand, hasn’t had inconsistencies during his four years in the league, all spent with the Green Bay Packers. Alexander went 18th overall, just four picks after Davenport, meaning he was on the board when NOLA traded up to make their move for the UTSA EDGE rusher.
This past year was Alexander’s worst as a member of the Packers but as Davenport notes, that’s because of an injury. In his three years prior to that, he was durable and effective in the Green Bay secondary. Pairing him with Marshon Lattimore in the secondary would have given New Orleans one of the best cornerback duos in the league.
With Marcus Davenport’s impressive 2021 season, I’m not as annoyed by that pick now as I was at this time a year ago. He showed why the Saints traded up to get him while Alexander had a down year in 2021.
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Would it have been nice to have a guy like Alexander in the secondary? Of course it would have. At the same time, however, the Saints probably wish they had grabbed a top-tier wide receiver over the past few years instead because that’s a much bigger need for them.