Since there hasn't been a lot of new Saints news lately, I was just perusing through the CSC archives and came across some of the many posts we all made in reference to the 2009 Saints draft last April. Our comments at the time are what's most interesting. Here's a Fanpost I posted right after the draft. Judging by the comments section, we were still trying to make sense of the Morstead pick. While MtnExile and I somehow go off on a Lord of the Rings tangent, saintsdevotee posted a sensible "let's wait and see" comment regarding Morstead:
It's possible the kicker is a good pick
If this guy is as good as Keonan(sp?) is in Atlanta, punting and kicking off, I guess he’s worth it. I just don’t believe he is, since no one has heard of this guy coming out of college.
I’m not gonna sweat it anymore. We’ll see what happens in August.
Gotta trust the professionals…
Morstead was indeed an excellent pick and his punts and kickoffs were very instrumental in our Super Bowl winning season (insert giddy, over-joyed laughter here).
MtnExile contributed a great post that graded the mainstream sports media graders. In hindsight, his overall grade of an A for the Saints draft was right on:
NEW ORLEANS. Grade: A
The Saints had little room to maneuver, with only four choices. But you have to factor in that three of their picks were already used to put Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma in black and gold. Shockey had a solid season, for a tight end—it just wasn't spectacular, so he would seem to be overpriced as things stand now. Vilma, on the other hand, was spectacular: every bit the player he was when the Jets took him with the 12th overall pick in 2004. Getting that kind of value for a third-round pick alone elevates the Saints draft nearly to the top.
In addition, New Orleans got Malcolm Jenkins—who may be the next Rod Woodson at cornerback, or bust at cornerback and be the next Rod Woodson at safety. Plus, the Saints added a solid safety prospect in Chip Vaughn, an intriguing linebacker prospect in Stanley Arnoux (both in the fourth), and punter/kicker Thomas Morland. Every real need the Saints had was addressed in some way, and with quality players.
(Today's Kool-Aid is Purplesaurus Rex.)
That Kool-Aid was delicious. Our fearless leader Saintsational also weighed in with his grades on the 2009 Saints' draft.. Since the Morstead pick was obviously the main topic of discussion at the time and has inevitably become a theme of this post, here's his take on that one:
Thomas Morstead - Punter - Southern Methodist University
Initially this pick had me, and many other Saints fans, all hot and bothered. Up until selecting Morstead the Saints were doing a great job of choosing players that addressed their needs. But after taking a deep breath and drinking a couple of 190 Octanes I now have a better understanding of the reasoning behind this selection. Often an overlooked position, Punters play an important role in the field position game and the Saints haven't had anything too great in the punting department for quite a while. Still, drafting a specialist could blow up in the Saints face...again. The question from here on out will be, "Was he worth it?" They gave up their 2010 fifth round pick as well as this years seventh round pick just to land this guy. There were also players left on the draft board with higher grades than Morestead. The pressure is on. I'm not sure about this one but I am feeling generous so I went with a grade of C. Glenn Pakulak...your days may be numbered.
He was truly being generous with his grade of C-. Most of us were grading the trading away of draft picks for a punter somewhat lower than that. I'm very happy we were proven wrong and Morstead worked out so well for us. Enjoy that ring, Thomas! You and all the others truly deserve them.