Every year Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel compiles a bunch of pithy critiques by anonymous scouts on many of the NFL's incoming rookies. Harbored in anonymity, you'll sometimes find especially cynical and downright crass critiques, but there are some well-meaning and constructive insights from these pundits. It turns out that there are several such insights for some of our newest New Orleans Saints.
It's worth mentioning that scouts are mere mortals much like many of us, so they can be (and often are) completely off base. Read the following with that caveat in mind.
Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville (Round 1; Pick #12)
Nothing too eye-popping here. Rankins has been considered a pretty safe pick given his production in college, intelligence, and leadership abilities. He's smallish yet quick and powerful. Some may contend the nose tackle critique, but in my admittedly shallow understanding of his fit as it pertains to that position, I agree with it.
"Love him. Little compact guy. Very productive. Smart (Wonderlic of 26), leader. He'll probably get overdrafted because his intangibles are so high. I would take him over (former Bear DT) Tommie Harris. He had better pass rush and quicker twitch than Rankins but this guy is high character."
"He's a penetrator. He can get off blocks. He can do lots of stuff."
"If you put him at nose and don't move him, you're going to be wasting him. He wouldn't be a good nose. He's a move guy. He can run."
Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State (Round 2; Pick #47)
I'm a little confused by what's provided about Thomas regarding his hands. Pro Football Focus wrote that he had only five drops against 115 catchable passes. I've seen others write that his hands were a concern, so which is it? And instead of any mention of his Kawhi-Leonard-sized (read: massive) hands, what's this noise about him being a #3 WR and "somewhat of a diva"? Hey. He's OUR diva and the only reason he'll actually be the #3 receiver is because he's also #1 and #2. The blocking insight is interesting. I conveniently choose to accept that critique, most of the rest is gobbledygook.
"Long strider, nonexplosive. Had his issues with drops. You like the size. He's somewhat of a diva. Takes after his uncle (Keyshawn Johnson) a little bit. Once you get to know him I think you can channel him. I see him as No. 3."
"He's a build to speed guy. He's just so damn inconsistent. He could be the best blocker. He can crush people. He just doesn't do it all the time. He's got great catching range, all this and that. He also drops balls."
Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State (Round 2; Pick #61)
Nothing outstanding here on Vonn from our furtive friends. Cover safety with average traits and some intangibles. Seems like they feel he's another safe pick with a limited ceiling. Contrarily, NFL's Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks (generously) compared him to Seattle Seahawks All Pro safety Earl Thomas on the Move the Sticks 360 series. Just throwing that out there - the range in perspectives from scouts and pundits. And lastly, third scout -Overrated? Now you're just hurting my feelings, bruh. Not cool.
"There's your free safety. He's got corner traits. Drops down, plays the spot. Does a lot of things good, nothing great. He's not a banger but he's a solid tackler. You think of him as a cover safety. Plays the post. Very good ball skills. Good speed, not great."
"He's a starter in the league. He's more your intangible guy. I don't think there's anything special about him. Average size, average speed. He'd be third round at best."
"A lot of hype because the program he went to and their success. I feel he is way overrated. He doesn't play very strong. He falls off tackles."
Jack Allen, C, Michigan State (Undrafted)
Jack Allen is small. Got it, guys. You know who else was small? Godzilla. But that never stopped him from wrecking %$&#. Jack Allen is basically Godzilla.
"One of my favorite players. These guys don't get drafted but they end up starting. He's an alpha male, (team) captain. Everything what you're looking for. He's just small."
"Jack was a two-time wrestling champ and that's how he plays center. He grabs and holds and bulls. He does a lot of arm drags, stuff like that. He reminds me of A.O. Shipley, who's still in the league. Not real big, and that's going to get a hold of him eventually."
"Little try-hard guy that coaches love."
Unfortunately there's nothing here on David Onyemata nor is there anything on Daniel Lasco. The former was to be expected given his lack of time on any scouting radar. I suspect though given his lack of experience and familiarity with the game that he'd be labelled "very raw" and "boom-or-bust".
If you're interested in tons of other "insights" on many of the other new NFL players, I recommend the following articles from Bob McGinn.