In a continuation of a previous series, we thought we would let the readers see the inner conversations of contributors here at Canal Street Chronicles, where we each can weigh in on a topic and share our thoughts. We don’t always agree with each other, so view our thoughts below and comment with your thoughts.
Who was your favorite (and least favorite) draft pick for the New Orleans Saints in the 2017 NFL Draft?
Contributors in the conversation: Kevin Skiver (Kevin), Deuce Windham (Rev), John Sigler (Sig), John Hendrix (Hendrix), Chris Dunnells (Dunz), Super Saiyan Saint (SSS), and Bob Rose (Bob).
Kevin - For me? Lattimore is too easy, he's my favorite PLAYER that we picked, but my favorite pick itself was OL Ryan Ramczyk out of Wisconsin. He’s slick value at 32 for a pick we weren't sure we'd keep, and he adds depth to a position that has been proven to need to be a pit time and time again, AND gives us an heir apparent for an aging Strief.
Dunz - Lattimore is definitely my guy. The more I read up on him, the more I thought he could be everything the Saints hoped to get in Butler, and then more. A lot of Butler-haters used that gif of Falcon’s WR Taylor Gabriel juking Butler out of his shoes in the Superbowl, but that's not fair to just point at one play. That being said, Lattimore speed is absolutely elite. I'm not saying he won't bite on a fake, but he would have good recovery speed.
Bob - Marcus Williams. He has terrific anticipation and the athletic ability to make the plays on the back end. His over the top presence will allow Vonn Bell, and especially Kenny Vaccaro to roam a bit and be more aggressive. The type of player they were HOPING to get with Jairus Byrd they hopefully get here.
Hendrix - I'll address favorite in a minute, but as for most important. With what we know now? I think it's Ryan Ramczyk. Max Unger's questionable availability most assuredly means that Ramczyk has a big role in 2017 if they have to kick Senio Kelemete inside. He'll be that sixth OLineman in jumbo sets, and will have to play more special teams. You'd presumably have Landon Turner playing a bigger role, and then have to see which other UDFAs push for a spot.
Dunz - Definitely with the Unger injury, that puts the Ramzczyk pick into a lot more perspective for Saints fans who poo-poo'ed on it early.
Hendrix - That being said, we're banking on the fact Ramczyk is fully recovered for training camp and will be an instant impact and pick up the Saints offense. Are the Saints that lucky? Probably not. But, it makes sense.
Kevin - Agreed. With offensive linemen early in their careers, the Saints have proven to like using them as utility players. That kind of versatility is invaluable. They've done it with Lelito and Peat, doubt Ramczyk will be much different. Lattimore is my favorite player that we picked, but I think Ramczyk was the most deft move in the draft for us, if that makes sense.
Hendrix - Lattimore is the clear choice as the favorite, but I'm going to say RB Alvin Kamara. Dude can be electrifying in this offense, and is an instant upgrade over Travaris Cadet. C.J. Spiller was a major bust, and I think fans forget how dynamic the offensive was when Sproles was here. Yes, they continue to be a top unit, but we saw more than a few times how piss poor the offense moved the ball in situations where the defense did their part. Plus, he adds value on special teams. So him and Ginn Jr. to return kicks? Sign me up with Banta coaching the special teams now.
Sig - I'm torn between Marcus Williams and Alvin Kamara. Williams is a smart, instinctive safety with top-shelf athleticism. He's got ball skills, solid tackling technique, and size you look for at the position. He'll allow the Saints to deploy Vonn Bell and Kenny Vaccaro in areas to maximize their strengths. He also pushes former starter Rafael Bush down to the fourth safety spot, which is great depth to have. As for Kamara, he's basically a faster Pierre Thomas. He brings a similar short-area acceleration that we got out of Darren Sproles; in three steps he's already at full speed, and we didn't have anyone with those quick movement skills on the roster already. Best of all his presence will keep Travaris Cadet off my TV, hopefully. Can't wait to see him out there on draws, quick tosses to the outside, etc. If this OL can perform as advertized I think he'll be a dangerous threat as a runner and a receiver. 1000 yards from scrimmage as a rookie is possible.
SSS - Kamara is my choice and it’s not close. He has by far the highest likelihood to have an immediate positive impact and his net impact on the offense can be tremendous. Lattimore and Ramcyk are both long term plays with great overall value, but biggest impact is likely Kamara, in my opinion. He's a perfect fit in the system and allows Sean to dictate matchups to the defense, which is an undervalued part of this offense by most fans.
Dunz - Do you have a LEAST favorite then? See, because I'm going to say Kamara as my least favorite, I think. Not because of the pick itself, but because of the 2nd round pick next year that it took to get him.
Kevin - We paid a steep price for Kamara but I've done the mental gymnastics necessary to be somewhat OK with it. Was I tired afterwards? Sure. But I didn't ask Loomis to pass me a cigarette like I did initially.
Hendrix - A 2018 2nd Round pick isn't a difficult price to pay for Kamara, and fans are getting wrapped up in if the Saints finish 7-9. If they make the playoffs like they're shooting for, that pick can suddenly go from 42 to 60.
SSS - Kamara in the 2nd Round this year would not have bothered anyone, we paid a 2nd Round next year for him - zero value problem.
Dunz - Was the trade up necessary to begin with, though? Obviously we'll never know, but the Saints could have sat back, hoped he continued to fall, and then went with someone else if not. I dunno, I'm torn.
Kevin - Yeah that's a hindsight question. Who knows if we needed to jump for him, but you dont wanna find out when the team ahead of you drafts him
Hendrix - t just supports the win-now mentality. If they don't do what they need to this year, it's all moot. They'll start trading people to tear down and rebuild, so they could even get a 2nd round pick from potential trade bait. Kamara was sitting there, and was looked at as the best running back not named Fournette, McCaffrey, Mixon, or Cook.
SSS - its not even just win now though. kamara and Thomas and Snead are long term offensive building blocks, so are lattimore and Ramcyk.
Hendrix - This is true. He should be there after AP and Ingram. He could be the future.
Sig - I don't mind the trade. They had a second round grade on Kamara and spent that pick a year early to get him, giving up a 7th round pick (basically a UDFA) in the process.
SSS - Teams who go “win now” in the draft fail almost every time. You play your board, you get value, try to build towards an identity, and if you can get an immediate impact player you take them. But my least favorite pick would be Alex Anzalone. I don't trust the health. It could be totally fine and a non-issue, but its a risk.
Hendrix - I think it's a consensus on Anzalone, simply because of the injury concerns there. Yeah he could be another Dannell Ellerbe, but then again he could be another Dannell Ellerbe.
Kevin - I agree. "Hey, PJ Williams and Damian Sean were drafted by us despite injury histories that are longer than Suge Knight's rap sheet. Neither have played, so let's take another shot!"
Hendrix - But I'll say this on Anzalone. I like the fact the Saints have adequate solutions at linebacker at this stage of things. Because last year was a train wreck whiffing on Laurinatis and Anthony's regression.
Dunz - I like the Anzalone pick, to be honest. A third round pick is worth the risk there in my opinion.
SSS - anzalone was a value pick playing on potential. in the 3rd round that's fine. my issue is you could have taken Rivers there and still got him at the next spot most likely and I'd be MUCH happier about our draft.
Bob - I like the player, terrified he'll be the "other" Ellerbe.
Dunz - If he's healthy, he could be a huge steal. If not, then he's no different than the majority of third round picks.
Kevin - I also don't love Trey Hendrickson. *ducks*
SSS - I think Rrey will get pressure and sacks, but he's gonna struggle against the run and get washed out a lot. He's Junior Galette-lite, minus the crazy.
Dunz - I think Trey is a huge sign that the Saints are higher on their current edge rushers than we previously thought.
Hendrix - Agreed, Dunz. Been saying that. Alex Okafor is getting the starting nod there in my opinion. People are getting wrapped up on Hendrickson's arm length, which is meaningless to me. Show me to a prospect that had long arms that always amounted to something off the edge.
Rev - His arm length is 1 inch shorter than the DE average.
SSS - I'm not that worried about arm length...its power. but only time will tell
Kevin - Every draft is graded “Incomplete” untill three years down the road, but none more so than this one. It's a mix of long term and immediate solutions, or so the Front Office seems to think, so well have to see if early heavy playing time helps or hurts the class.
So there you go. Was there anything said in our roundtable that you agree with? Something you absolutely hate? Tell us in the comments! Share you thoughts - who was your favorite and least favorite pick in this year’s Saints draft class? Tell us in the comments. Send me presents.