With the benefit of hindsight, re-drafting an NFL draft from years’ past is typically fun. Then you’d have scenarios like the 2017 NFL Draft, where if teams had a do-over, there is absolutely a zero percent change the Saints are able to end up with any of the players they actually drafted. That’s the rub - if you re-draft a successful draft, you’re disappointed with the new results, but if you re-draft a poor draft class, you can think about what could-have-been.
So when ESPN re-drafted the 2015 NFL Draft (Insider Required), it’s definitely a case of daydreaming about what the Saints defense could have looked like if the Saints skipped out on a player like Stephone Anthony all together.
The Saints had two picks in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft (the second pick coming at 31st overall from the Seattle Seahawks as part of the Jimmy Graham trade.
With their first 1st Round pick, the Saints selected Andrus Peat out of Stanford 13th overall. Instead, in the re-draft, they added a piece to the secondary:
New Pick: Adrian Amos, S, Penn State
Amos broke out with the No. 2 grade among safeties last year (92.0), and the Saints have been piecing together their secondary over the past few years. He would be a perfect piece in that rebuild, as he has quietly been the 10th most valuable player in the class of 2015.
Andrus Peat, in case you were wondering, did not make the entire first round of the ESPN re-draft. He would likely show up somewhere in the next two rounds if the mock re-draft were to continue. Stephone Anthony, who the Saints selected 31st overall, on the other hand, would be hard pressed to see his name called in the first four rounds. Instead, the Saints added a different linebacker in the re-draft:
New Pick: Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
McKinney looked like a run-stuffing thumper coming out, and he has been that and a bit more for the Texans. The Saints continue to search for impact linebackers, as Anthony struggled mightily and others have come and gone with little success. McKinney can play the run (his 82.0 grade ranks 13th in the NFL since 2015) and hold his own in coverage, if you can limit his one-on-one interactions with running backs.
Oh, what could have been.
So what do you think of the Saints first round draft class in the re-draft? Would you have preferred the Saints still find their way to Andrus Peat 31st overall? Tell us in the comments. Send me presents.