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Mel Kiper re-grades the 2016 NFL Draft classes, but the New Orleans Saints see no change

The 2016 Saints draft class ended up being very memorable, but it wasn’t enough to change Kiper’s original post-draft grade.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mel Kiper checked back in on the 2016 NFL Draft grades handed out to all 32 teams on Thursday, and the New Orleans Saints stayed the same with a B- grade.

New Orleans Saints

Post-draft grade: B-

Let's start with the good: Michael Thomas was an absolute stud. I realize a lot of guys pile up stats on the other end of Drew Brees' throws, but anyone can see he showed the traits of a true No. 1 wideout. He had 454 more receiving yards than the next-closest rookie (Sterling Shepard). If there's anything that drags the grade a little bit, it's that yet again the Saints couldn't stop anybody. While they got some useful pieces in this class, we still need to see the dividends. Sheldon Rankins can be a disruptor when he plays (four sacks), but he missed the first seven games because of an injury he suffered in training camp. Vonn Bell played in every game, starting 14, and he got more comfortable later in the year after some early struggles. That's really it for the class, which totaled only a handful of players.

Thomas is a stud, and Bell is a starter. If Rankins steps up, the grade obviously jumps.

New grade: B-

The Saints came away with Sheldon Rankins, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, David Oneymata, and Daniel Lasco in last year’s draft. Each player ended up having a big role last season, and given the draft aftermath of the 2014 and 2015 classes, it’s good to see there’s reason for optimism heading into the new season. As of now, the Saints have seven picks at their disposal, with primary needs being a pass rusher and secondary help.

The original article is available to view on ESPN, but requires Insider Access. The Falcons jumped up in their grade (A), while the Buccaneers slid (C) and the Panthers stayed the same (C+).