I can sense the anticipation and excitement rising in Who Dat Nation as we get closer to the NFL Draft on April 25th. After all, it's been two years since the Saints have actually had a pick in the first round. Fun Fact: The Saints haven't had a second round draft pick in three years.
So who could blame us right? Yeah, baby! Let's do this! Durka durka gumbo gumbo the Draft!!!!
Well you better just shut that s*** down right now and get with the program. Ask yourself this question: what have the Saints ever done in the first round of the NFL Draft during the Payton/Loomis era that leads you to believe the player they select this year is going to drastically improve the team? Seriously. Go ahead and think about an answer to that question. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Let's do a quick rundown, shall we? We shall.
2006 - Reggie Bush - They had to take him.
2007 - Robert Meachem - Should have gone defense here.
2008 - Sedrick Ellis - Was it really worth trading up to get this dude?
2009 - Malcolm Jenkins - Mediocre.
2010 - Patrick Robinson - Already trying to replace him.
2011 - Cameron Jordan/Mark Ingram - Jury's still out.
2012 - Gone because the Saints suck at drafting.
2013 - ???
Fun Fact: The Haslett-era Saints made 6 first round draft selections. Three of them were Pro-Bowl caliber (Will Smith, Deuce McAllister, Jammal Brown). Payton/Loomis are 0/7 thus far.
I'm sorry to spoil the fun, but let's be a little realistic here. Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis certainly have their talents, like lying, but getting good value in the first round of the Draft isn't one of them. What's the opposite of the Midas touch? Whatever it is, that's what the two of them have when drafting in the first round. The Poop Finger.
Later rounds of the draft? The pair have shown flashes of brilliance. Undrafted free agency? There's nobody I'd rather have. But is it possible to keep PayLoo the hell away from the Saints' first round pick because they still just...don't...get it.
Our only glimmer of hope as Saints fans is that Rob Ryan knows what he's doing and will be allowed a say in the matter. Assuming the Saints are going to draft defense. Of course the Saints have had three different defensive coordinators already under Payton/Loomis and none of them were any help so why should we expect Ryan to be any different.
Just a warning folks, not a prediction. And certainly not what I hope to see yet again this year. But instead of getting your hopes up about that premiere first-round talent that'll most likely disappoint us, you might want to shift your focus on the later round prospects who might just surprise us.
We now return to your regularly scheduled mock draft.