There are a lot of football talking heads who like to say that you can't actually judge the quality of a draft class for at least three years, if not more. To those people I say one thing: Shutup!
Are they right? Of course they are. How can you evaluate something or someone without having any sample to analyze. You can't. It's impossible.
Yet right now, all across the internet there are hundreds if not thousands of writers, bloggers, losers and analysts assigning grades to draft picks and overall team draft performances for your edification. How are they doing this without the aforementioned samples to analyze? They're pulling it out of their booty's. So I now present you with Canal Street Chronicles' 2010 Saints draft grades.
Yeah, that's right! Why should I get left out of all the fun? I've got a perfectly good booty. So I'm going to assign subjective grades to players I barely know anything about and whose future success I couldn't possibly predict. They'll be based only on my personal opinions, just a smidgen of research and my current emotional state, which at the current moment is mildly confused and heavily inebriated. But there will be a method to my madness. My evaluations will take into account player potential, perceived draft value, position of need, fan approval and whether they're expected to start next year.
Let's get on with it and dive head first into my current opinion of the Saints 2010 draft class. As always, your votes, opinions and comments are always welcome.
Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida St.
Analysis: With Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter firmly entrenched as the Saints starting corners, last years first round choice being used on CB Malcolm Jenkins and prospects like Sergio Kindle and Daryl Washington still on the board, the selection of cornerback Patrick Robinson with their thirty-second overall pick was quite the surprise to Saints fans. Given the situation Robinson will be entering, earning a regular gig as the starting nickel would be about as much as I would expect from the rookie this season. But if and when the injury bug rears its ugly head, P-Rob will make for great depth. Coming from the circus known as Florida States defense, he'll have a bit of a learning curve but there's plenty of raw talent and upside with this one if the coaching situation is right.
Charles Brown, OT, USC
Analysis: Picking an offensive tackle in the second round might not have seemed to make a lot of sense for the Saints, who had some holes to still fill on defense and a few highly rated players still left on the board to fill them, but the 34th overall rated Charles Brown was just too good to pass up with the 64th pick. With practically first round talent, I fully expect Brown to work his way into regular rotation and even push for a starting spot. I'm also optimistic his addition will help improve the Saints running game. With a quarterback like Drew Brees so heavily relied upon, taking a talented, versatile offensive tackle is never a bad thing. Especially when you're trying hard to get rid of your old one.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami
Analysis: Did the Saints really need to grab a tight end in the draft this year? Not really. Did they get good value with the 95th overall pick by selecting the 65th overall ranked player? Absolutely. From a value perspective, this was a wise move. But there were other players still on the board at the time - Everson Griffen and Eric Norwood - that might have made more sense and still been a reasonable value. With Jeremy Shockey and David Thomas sure to remain ahead of Graham on the depth chart for at least the next year, this move might be one made more with an eye on the future and not so much the present.
Al Woods, DT, LSU
Analysis: Linebacker and defensive tackle were unanimously agreed upon before the draft as the Saints two biggest positions of need during this years draft. The selection of Al Woods in the fourth round was the only move made to address either of these needs in this years draft. Surprise, surprise. For that reason alone, this pick deserves a high mark. Add to that the fact he's a fan favorite, local product from LSU and you've got the makings of the Saints best 2010 draft pick. Even though the team had to give up a little to get in position for Woods, he was still a good value in the fourth round. I'd be very pleasantly surprised if he earned a starting spot next year but I'm definitely optimistic he'll overcome reported flaws of always disappointing and provide great depth, developing into more in the future.
Matt Tennant, C, Boston College
Analysis: Another solid move for the future of the team, assuming Tennant can make the transition smoothly. Jonathan Goodwin may not be the greatest center in the league but he's good enough and will assuredly be the starter next season. The relationship between center and quarterback is not one to be taken lightly. But there's no real depth behind him. A player like Tennant is valuable in the event of an injury to Goody or following his eventual decline.
Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon St.
Analysis: Not a fan of this pick. It seems it's becoming tradition every year for Sean Payton to make some wild, late-round draft pick that causes Saints fans to scream, "WTF!?" Sometimes the fans are right (see: Taylor Mehlhaff) and sometimes they're wrong (see: Thomas Morstead). Like both of those situations, time will eventually tell. Obviously the Saints are thinking about the future of the team and/or a serious injury to Brees with this pick but it doesn't fill an urgent need and this spot could arguably have been better spent. We can only assume the front office had knowledge of another team set on drafting Canfield, otherwise why waste a pick on him when he could be had in undrafted free agency. What does Canfield have that all of Payton's other QB pet projects didn't anyway?