2011 NFL Draft grades are already starting to trickle out from various sources around the internet and while most experts and analysts think very highly of the Saints draft thus far, there are a few pundits who aren't as optimistic, most notably the folks over at Walter Football.
For good reason, they've given the Saints top marks for their selections of Cameron Jordan and Martez Wilson, both of whom were steals at their respective draft slots. But have a gander at the draft grade they've assigned the Saints for their selection of Alabama running back Mark Ingram:
28. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
I'm not a big fan of spending a first-round pick on a running back unless you're getting an Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson. Does Ingram rank among those guys? Maybe. But if he did, he would have gone much earlier.
I hate the fact that the Saints surrendered a 2012 first-rounder for Ingram. That's why this grade is so low.
(Pick Grade: D)
Yowza! Pretty harsh. This guy did win the Heisman Trophy, right? And he was the highest rated running back in this years draft, correct? I understand the Saints had to give up next year's first round draft pick to snag the coveted Ingram but personally I think that's pretty respectable. Of course, I'm always a little nervous when the Saints are on the other end of a Bill Belichick trade.
But if Walter thought that was bad, he must have had a field day with the Atlanta Falcons' first round Al Davis-inspired maneuver to acquire Julio Jones. Surely he must have given the Falcons an "F" - or even worse - for all they gave up to position themselves to draft WR Julio Jones, right?
Atlanta gives up the No. 27 pick, a 2nd- and a 4th this year, and a 1st and a 4th next year. That's pretty insane. I'm not a fan of taking receivers very high unless you know you're getting a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. I don't think Jones is in that caliber.
That sounds about right. Can't argue with that. So what grade did Walter give the Falcons for this disaster?
(Pick Grade: C)
WHAT!? Just what the hell kinda Falcon-loving, sliding scale is this nut job using to base his grades!? After reading that, we can't possibly take his earlier assessment of the Mark Ingram pick seriously. Sorry, just not happening.
I know there are some Saints fans in Who Dat Nation who still aren't sold on Ingram and who really aren't crazy about what the Saints had to give up to get him. But is it really that bad?