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2015 NFL Draft Results: Grading The Late Round Picks

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The dust has cleared in the Saints' 2015 draft, now we take a closer look at the new acquisitions. How do you grade these picks, as a group?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have concluded their selections in the 2015 NFL Draft and the team welcomes four new additions to the roster.  Let's take a closer look at each of these late round draft picks courtesy of their draft profiles at NFL.com.

Round 5 - Pick 148

Davis Tull - Outside Linebacker - Tennessee-Chattanooga

STRENGTHS

Four-year starter. Outstanding production and works as hard from snap to snap as any defensive lineman in this draft. Plays stronger than his listed weight. Stays square against the run and leverages his run gaps. Plus hand-eye coordination. Has what scouts call "snap-winning" hand usage against run or pass. Relentless in pursuit. Frenetic off snap, giving tackles darting movement inside and out. Has power and toughness to set the edge and turn plays back inside. Leverage rusher who can dip shoulder and turn corner as well as bull-rush weaker tackles. Has lightning-quick spin move but needs to sharpen technique when using it. Held his own against Tennessee this year with a sack and two tackles for loss.

WEAKNESSES

Marginal upfield burst by NFL standards. Needs to instill more fear around the edge to open up room for his inside moves. Short arms. Long tackles can get to his chest and divert his rush track. Racked up gaudy stats against inferior competition. Average athlete with average size. Won with great hands and effort, but athletic NFL tackles could stymie those traits. Too small to play defensive end and has limited experience standing up.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Round 3 or 4

NFL COMPARISON

Dan Skuta

BOTTOM LINE

Tull uses smarts, skill and toughness to dominate his level of competition. Tull has the athleticism to play outside linebacker in an odd front and his relentless nature and ability to outplay expectations could make him an NFL surprise.

***

Round 5 - Pick 154

Tyeler Davison - Defensive Tackle - Fresno State

STRENGTHS

Built like a contestant in a strong-man competition. Has thickly muscled, long arms with big hands. Loves hand-to-hand combat inside. Uses club, rip, hump and push/pull techniques to beat defender. Has power to forcibly extract himself from block. Feels double team and braces outside leg and gets duck-footed to battle. Uses length to overcome lack of height. Relies on upper-body flexibility paired with explosion in his hips. Has quickness and "quick-win" capability to get after the quarterback and play on the other side of the line. Very tough at the point of attack and tries to impose his will on centers. Played 80 percent of the defensive snaps. Likeable with high character. High school wrestling background.

WEAKNESSES

Can only play in a four-man front. Has power and athleticism but wasn't at his best against the best competition he faced early in the season. Struggles to change directions quickly enough in confined spaces and misses tackles because of it. Might need to add more weight to be able to hold up as a nose in the NFL. Some scouts believe he didn't give his best effort when asked to move to defensive end early in the season. Gets caught up in fighting man in front of him and will lose sight of the ball sometimes.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Rounds 3 or 4

SOURCES TELL US

"He plays too laterally to me. I know he's strong and all that but I want to see him up the field more and not just against the weakest parts of the schedule." -- NFC West scout 

"When I study him, I see a disruptive tackle-splitter. He can't play in an odd front, obviously, but when he gets technique work, I think you could see him really take off." -- NFC area scout

NFL COMPARISON

Kyle Williams (Bills)

BOTTOM LINE

Davison is a powerful defensive tackle who has above-average athleticism and saw his overall production spike in 2014. He is well-conditioned and can play all three downs if called upon to do so. With his athleticism, balance and power, Davison has the potential to be an outstanding pro, but he must prove that he can bring those same traits into play against better competition.

***

Round 5 - Pick 167

Damian Swann - Cornerback - Georgia

STRENGTHS

Natural corner who has played and can play all over field. Played in the box in dime package and used as deep safety on a few snaps. Good length pressing and crowding receivers to the sideline. At his best as bump-and-run corner playing inside leverage. Thin but physical in run support. Covered big receivers and tight ends from the slot. Blitzes like a heat-seeking missile.

WEAKNESSES

Gives away a tremendous cushion in thirds coverage. Has to see it to break on it. Instincts lacking in zone coverage and takes too long to close out receivers. Feet uncooperative at times. Has issues staying wired to receivers making inside releases. Plays at one speed and lacks long speed to recover. Not in position to make interceptions. Had just five interceptions in three years as a starter.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Round 5

NFL COMPARISON

Chris Lewis-Harris

BOTTOM LINE

Gangly cornerback with spindly legs but a willingness to play physically and with great energy and effort. Swann doesn't play tightly enough in coverage or make enough plays on the ball to be a starting cornerback and doesn't have the size to transition to safety full time, but he's versatile and highly competitive and has a legitimate shot to make a team.

***

Round 7 - Pick 230

Marcus Murphy - Running Back - Missouri

STRENGTHS

Has the foot quickness and acceleration to make something out of nothing when called upon as a runner. Needs to play in space, but has quality traits for a runner, despite size. Has enough speed to turn the corner and hit a big run down the sideline. In passing game, mismatches inside 'backers with razor-sharp cuts to the sideline, creating easy throws for the quarterback. Looks to adjust his routes over the top of coverage if quarterback scrambles. Has excellent hands and concentration to finish a catch despite impending contact. Celebrated kick- and punt-return specialist with seven career return touchdowns at Missouri.

WEAKNESSES

Needs to improve his reads and feel on stretch plays flowing outside. Small running back with limited amount of carries he can offer in a given game. Tends to float in space as a receiver rather than working back to the ball. Doesn't make the sharp, downhill cuts expected from him as a running back. Missed 2011 with a shoulder injury. He tries to get in the way as a pass blocker, but lacks bulk and strength to be trusted with blitz pickup on next level.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Round 7 or priority free agent

NFL COMPARISON

Dexter McCluster

BOTTOM LINE

All-purpose running back with a lean frame and a big heart. Showed consistency of effort and production during his time at Missouri. His value as a runner is limited due to his size, but he has the potential to become a legitimate target out of the backfield and might warrant some reps in camp as a slot receiver. Murphy can step in and immediately challenge for the top spot as a kickoff and/or punt returner.

***

What do you think Who Dat Nation?  Do you love, like, or loathe these selections?  Give us your take in our poll, and leave us your insight and opinions below!

2015 Saints Draft Class

  • 13th Overall (Round 1) - Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford
  • 31st Overall (Round 1) - Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson
  • 44th Overall (Round 2) - Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington
  • 75th Overall (Round 3) - Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State
  • 78th Overall (Round 3) - P.J. Williams, CB. Florida State
  • 148th Overall (Round 5) - Davis Tull, OLB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • 154th Overall (Round 5) - Tyeler Davison, DT, Fresno State
  • 167th Overall (Round 5) - Damian Swann, CB, Georgia
  • 230th Overall (Round 7) - Marcus Murphy, RB, Missouri