Saints 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades
The 2013 NFL draft is over. The New Orleans Saints made five selections, though at one point held six picks. The New Orleans Saints gained the 106th overall pick in trading Chris Ivory to the New York Jets.
Then the team packaged pick 106 and 109 to move up to 82, courtesy of the Miami Dolphins. With that selection the team took Georgia defensive lineman John Jenkins.
Between that particular move and questionable selections on day three, the Saints do not earn a high grade from me.
Overall Grade: C+
Scroll through for individual pick grades.
First Round, Pick No. 15: Texas S Kenny Vaccaro
Kenny Vaccaro has been a fan favorite for the Saints' pick at No. 15. Rightfully so, as he is one of the more technically sound safeties to come around in a while.
He also has the knack to do a little bit of everything. He can cover one-on-one, has great sideline-to-sideline range as a "free safety" and even possesses more than adequate ability to come up to play the run.
The lone knock from the film is that he doesn't seem to have that "ball hawk" quality that should be required for a player picked as a safety in the top half of the draft.
Every other quality in his game, though, makes him that kind of player.
Few players provided more value at No. 15 of the available prospects. With Barkevious Mingo, the five offensive tackles and Star Lotulelei off the board, Vacarro was the best player on the Saints' draft board.
Vacarro is a versatile safety, in much the same way that Malcolm Jenkins was supposed to be when the team drafted him in 2009. Neither are true "ball hawks" though.
Third Round, Pick No. 13 (75): Arkansas-Pine Bluff OT Terron Armstead
The Saints had a dominant pass-rusher sitting there for the taking in the person of Texas OLB Alex Okafor, but went the somewhat safe route in taking Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead.
It is safe in the sense that it fills a need. Sean Payton was quoted several times this offseason saying he felt the team was not secure at left tackle and was still searching for an answer.
Armstead may not be the guy, but he as every quality the Saints look for in an offensive tackle. He has great athleticism and ability to move in space. His ability to block in space will allow the Saints to use the screen game and outside run game as often, or more so, as they have in the past.
Coming from a FCS school is a concern for Armstead, but he showed well in All-Star game appearances in January against FBS players. Armstead was a player myself, and many other draft analysts, had with a second-round grade.
Thus, this is a tremendous value pick for the Saints.
Third Round, Pick No. 20 (82): John Jenkins, DL, Georgia
Mickey Loomis and Co. were doing so well. It was as composed and together as they'd been in player acquisition in recent memory.
The team even made a brilliant move to pull off the Chris Ivory trade with the Jets for a fourth-round pick (No. 106 overall).
Then it all came crashing down on them quicker than a ton of bricks in an earthquake. With Texas OLB Alex Okafor still on the board, the team packaged their two fourth-round picks for gulp, Georgia defensive lineman John Jenkins.
Jenkins has talent, make no mistake about it. But he spends more time on his butt than he does in a three-point stance. Sure he moves laterally, and because of that seems like a great fit for Rob Ryan's defense.
In fact, as a scheme fit, Jenkins is wonderful. But the problem with that notion is that Jenkins simply isn't a good player; scheme fit or not.
Fifth Round, Pick No. 11 (144): Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills
The Saints were certainly in the market for a wide receiver. That is no surprise. Sean Payton said Friday night that the team was considering Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton in the third-round.
This pick indicates that the team truly drafted best player available, though. Quanterus Smith and Chase Thomas were two outside linebackers still available who made almost too much sense not to be the pick.
Stills is even a good player. But with a glaring need at outside linebacker, taking a receiver here just seems odd. It's too much of a luxury with that glaring need still existing.
The Saints must hope they can still grab Chase Thomas in the sixth-round, or another player of that caliber at that position.
Sixth Round, Pick No. 14 (183): Tarleton State DE/OLB Rufus Johnson
Rufus Johnson may develop into a heck of a football player. But the team still had better options with the 183rd overall pick. Whether the team went with the fundamentally sound Chase Thomas, a corner in Jordan Poyer (though it would have been superfluous with Kenny Vaccaro) or taken a developmental quarterback, Johnson just didn't make much sense.
The one positive to this pick lies in the fact the Saints stuck to finding a big outside linebacker prospect. Johnson was listed at 6'5", 272 pounds. With his size, Johnson seems like a great fit for the 3-4 scheme Rob Ryan employs in which the outside 'backer is really a glorified defensive end.