The New Orleans Saints used the 177th overall selection, the fourth pick of the sixth round, to draft safety Saquan Hampton out of Rutgers. A bit of a curious move, considering that the Saints traded up earlier in the 4th round to select Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, another defensive back from Florida, in a draft considered deep at both receiver and tight end.
Saquan Hampton is an athletic safety with good size and range. He measures at 6'1 205-lbs., and ran a 4.48 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was a four year contributor with Rutgers, with 3 of his 4 career interceptions coming last season, and added 3 tackles for loss among his 64 total stops on his way to team M.V.P. honors with the Scarlet Knights. Hampton has fluid change of direction ability, along with the foot speed and natural coverage skills to pick up man coverage in the slot. He plays the ball well, shows good recovery speed, and has solid read and react skills when in off coverage. He is willing in run support, but must get stronger to be a consistent factor in the tackle box.
Barring any further trades, the Saints still have picks in the 7th round (231 and 244 overall), with perceived needs remaining at wideout, defensive line, and tight end. Hampton and Gardner-Johnson will step into a secondary that struggled statistically against the pass over the first half of last season. Free safety Marcus Williams regressed a bit after an outstanding rookie campaign, and strong safety Vonn Bell is slated to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
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