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2016 NFL Draft Grades: Saints Get an "A" for Solid First Round Selection

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My early grade is in. Let's see if the Saints can keep it up.

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Turns out, most of the mock drafts were correct in predicting Louisville Defensive Tackle to the New Orleans Saints at #12 overall in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

I believe in "A+" and "A-," but I'm sticking with a solid "A" for this year's first round pick. With players like DE Joey Bosa and CB Vernon Hargreaves III already off the board, but with a falling LB Myles Jack and OT Laremy Tunsil still available for the Saints (the former falling out of the first round and the latter going right after the Saints to the Dolphins at #13), the Saints still had a tough choice in front of them. Clemson DE Shaq Lawson was also still on the board for the Saints. That being said, it's hard to say the Saints didn't pick the best player available (Tunsil arguably aside), let alone a player at a prime position of need for the Saints.

To me, what's keeping this from being an "A+" is that the Saints still didn't trade down. Granted, I understand this is highly unlikely for the Saints to ever do (I'm slowly coming to terms with it, year after year), but I was holding out hope that this would be the year. Personally, I believe the Saints could have traded down, grabbed multiple spots, and still found GREAT value. Let's see what they do in Rounds 2 & 3 later today.