In light of the spirited debate brought on by Dave's mid-week post - SAINTS ALWAYS DISAPPOINT ON DAY ONE OF DRAFT - an article by Pro Football Focus really grabbed me as something that could lead to even more lively discussion, so I've brought it here today.
In THIS PIECE, Khaled Elsayed uses the gift of 20/20 hindsight and redrafts the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, critiquing the picks actually made by each team, and then providing a suitable alternative pick for them.
For those who don't recall, 2008 was the year Pay-loo traded with the Patriots to move up from 10th to 7th in the first round in order to select USC's top-shelf defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. For this privilege, the Saints also gave up that year's 3rd round pick (#78), but received New England's 5th round pick (#164) in return.
The end result of these swaps led to the Saints netting Ellis with the #7 pick, and guard Carl Nicks with the 5th-rounder, while the Patriots landed a pair of linebackers - Jerod Mayo out of Tennessee at #10 and Michigan's Shawn Crable at #78.
Elsayed's bit on the Saints noted the disappointment Ellis has been, and suggested cornerback Brandon Flowers as an appropriate replacement choice:
7. Sedrick Ellis, DT, New Orleans Saints
Key Stat: In our Pass Rushing Productivity rating for defensive tackles he finished eighth as a rookie. Since then he hasn't cracked the Top 30.
Notes: Ellis was meant to be that penetrating interior tackle that consistently pushed up field. He hasn't proven to be that guy, being the type of player who puts forth his highlight reel play for a game and then goes quiet. Even that disappeared in 2012 and the Saints have cemented the move away from him with a change of defensive schemes.
Re-Draft: The Saints could use some help in the secondary and would have been delighted to land Brandon Flowers.
Really? Brandon Flowers? Then what would the Saints have done with their second-round pick? Not draft Tracy Porter? Then how do they beat the Vikings and Colts in the 2009 postseason? Does Flowers make those crucial picks? Then what happens/happened to Jabari Greer? Oh, man is my mind melting. I think I've ruptured the space-time continuum and sprained my flux capacitor.
Another mind-melting aspect of this "2008 draft re-do" piece is that Elsayed sends Matt Ryan to the Dolphins first overall, and then gives the Falcons Joe Flacco at #3. Hahahahahahahahahaha!!
I implore you to read the whole rest of the thing yourself, for s***s and giggles. It gave me plenty of both. Um, I mean...err, (just stop digging Hans, and move on to something else).
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Please share your thoughts on Elsayed's article in the comment section, along with your thoughts on the Saints new pick, as well as how the actual trade net benefit for the Saints and Patriots kind of almost came out even (one dud and one stud to each team - how about that?).