Kenny Vaccaro, 1st Round, 15th Overall
Going into the first night of the 2013 NFL Draft, all of Who Dat Nation was hoping to see the defense get upgraded. All defensive positions were of need, but a pass rusher was the unanimous fan favorite. Jarvis Jones and Barkevious Mingo were the most coveted.
I was somewhat disappointed when the Saints passed up Jones to take Vaccaro. I knew that Vaccaro was a good player with tons of talent, but Jones had already grown on me. I gave the Vaccaro selection a B- only because I felt that Jarvis would've been the better selection. Other than that, I think Vaccaro will be a perfect fit.
Terron Armstead, 3rd Round, 75th Overall
Because of Goodell's wrath, the Saints didn't have a second round selection and would not pick again until 75th overall. When that pick came, the Saints decided to help out the other side of the ball. They picked Terron Armstead, an offensive tackle from Arkansas Pine-Bluff. The big man has great speed for his large frame and is a raw talent who could turn into a star. He figures to be an excellent option for Drew Brees' blindside in the future, but he has the capability of being a starter by the end of the season. I give this pick an A+.
Jonathan Jenkins, 3rd Round, 82nd Overall
Their next pick in the draft wasn't supposed to come until the fourth round, but the Saints saw someone they liked and jumped up to take him. They traded running back Chris Ivory to the Jets for their fourth round pick and used it to trade up with Miami for their third rounder. With it they drafted Georgia nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins. He could be the perfect player to plug up the middle of the defensive line for run support. If he can keep his weight in check, he should be a bright spot on this defense. Once again, though, the Saints passed on a high rated pass rusher, Alex Okafor. For that and the fact that Jenkins is a "boom or bust" player, I give this pick a C+.
Kenny Stills, 5th Round, 144th Overall
Once again the Saints had to skip a round before they were able to pick again. Their next eventual pick came in the fifth round at 144th overall. The Saints threw a curve ball and took Kenny Stills, a wide receiver from Oklahoma. I was quite surprised to see them use one of their few picks on another offensive player. Stills' stats look pretty impressive though. He caught 82 passes for 964 yards and eleven touchdowns his senior season. He's pretty quick too, as he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. Kenny will be a legit contender for the fifth or sixth receiver spot, but will most likely contribute the most on special teams. Stills gets a sold B grade from me.
Rufus Johnson, Sixth Round, 183rd Overall
The Saints' final pick in the draft came in the sixth round, the 183rd pick overall. Rufus Johnson, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker out of Tarleton State was the selection. We all knew that the possible "diamond in the rough" guy was coming sooner or later, but I was surprised that it came from the only pass rusher that the Saints took. Johnson is solid in size (6'5", 272 lbs.) which is good, but the competition he faced in DII is questionable. Hopefully the scouts are right in their judgment with this guy because he is pretty unpredictable. I give this selection a C because a position of need was met and it was in a low round.
Overall, I give the 2013 Saints draft class a B-. Three positions of high need (defensive end, safety, and offensive tackle) were filled and another weapon was added for Brees. This class will see more of its success in the future, as Kenny Vaccaro is the only player that I can picture starting throughout the 2013 season.