It’s far too early to think about “what could have been” with the 2020 NFL Draft, and maybe even the 2019 NFL Draft, but it’s pretty clear when looking back at drafts of recent past, how well (or poorly) teams performed.
The 2017 NFL Draft was noteworthy for the New Orleans Saints, as it produced both the offensive and defensive rookies of the year in Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore. So when SB Nation proposed the team sites re-draft the 2017 year, I knew it was going to be difficult for the Saints. That being said, here’s how the first 10 picks played out:
- Cleveland Browns - QB Patrick Mahomes
- San Francisco 49ers - QB Deshaun Watson
- Chicago Bears - TE George Kittle (of course Chicago picked a tight end...)
- Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Christian McCaffrey
- Tennessee Titans - DE Myles Garrett
- New York Jets - S Jamal Adams (their original pick)
- Los Angeles Chargers - CB Tre’Davious White
- Carolina Panthers - CB Marshon Lattimore (jerk faces)
- Cincinnati Bengals - OT Ryan Ramczyk (back-to-back Saints there)
- Buffalo Bills - LB T.J. Watt
Now the Saints were on the clock with the 11th pick in Round 1. There were plenty of incredible offensive players remaining on the board, including Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kenny Golladay, and others. Ryan Ramczyk was my top choice here, but he was sniped two picks earlier by the Bengals.
But instead of going for offense, I decided to grab a defensive player. Marshon Lattimore almost single-handily turned the New Orleans defense around his rookie year. Knowing what a top-tier cornerback was able to do for Dennis Allen, and considering Lattimore was already off the board to the division rival Carolina Panthers, I went with a different player.
Marlon Humphrey, originally drafted by the Baltimore Ravens 16th overall, is a fine consolation prize. While Humphrey didn’t win defensive rookie of the year, he made his first Pro Bowl in 2019 while also getting named to his First Team All-Pro, his first year as a starter.
Lattimore was able to come in and be a starter immediately in his rookie year, while Humphrey has had to slowly grow into becoming a dominant NFL corner. But with Tre-Day and Lattimore off the board, Humphrey was my top-graded defensive player at a position of need for the 2017 Saints.
Hopefully the Saints can find another top-end player with the 32nd pick in the first round. Stay tuned.
Do you agree with the selection of Humphrey? Who would you have picked in the 2017 re-draft? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisDunnells.