If you had tipped me off ahead of time about the insane amount of trading that happened in the draft last night, I probably would have watched with more interest. As previously discussed, the first round just wasn’t as exciting this year without the Saints picking in it. Tonight are the 2nd and 3rd rounds, with the Saints picking just once late in the 3rd after having their 2nd pick revoked by Roger Goodell. You can check out a listing of the first 32 picks RIGHT HERE. Notable things about the draft:
— Morris Claiborne of LSU went #6 to the Cowboys, and Michael Brockers of LSU went 14th to the St. Louis Rams. Congrats to both players!
— Safety Mark Barron is a terrific player, but that position is typically marginalized in the draft. I was shocked to see him go 7th overall to the Bucs.
— The first shocker of the draft was Bruce Irvin going 15th overall to the Seahawks. You’ll remember Kris Brauner in my interview with him spoke very highly of Irvin, but no one expected him to go anywhere near this year in the 1st round. A reach for Pete Carroll.
— The Bengals took Dre Kirkpatrick, clearly upholding their penchant for guys with character issues. Pretty sad, really. He’s a fantastic corner if his head is on straight, though.
— The Browns took Brandon Weeden 22nd overall???? WHAT?
— A.J. Jenkins to the 49ers at 30, to me, was one of the worst picks of the 1st round.
Most notable about the draft was the ridiculous number of trades. What’s changed with the new CBA is the price of these rookies, which makes more teams capable of paying the players. With the financial aspect less prohibitive it does two things: 1. It makes teams more willing to take a risk on a player they like because ultimately if it doesn’t work out they’re not out tens of millions guaranteed, 2. It makes elite young players more affordable. The financial aspect out the window allows teams to be more honed in on their board and focused just on their targets. More than anything it makes life a lot easier on the teams that want to move down and accrue more picks because they don’t like the value that their pick represents. The movement we saw on draft day didn’t really have steep prices attached to it either. Most of the time teams were willing to move down several spots if it meant just one extra draft pick. That makes it infinitely more likely the Saints may get involved with teams later in the draft, perhaps as early as the 2nd round if they see a guy they have to get. With Mickey Loomis we’ve learned to expect the unexpected. The good news is the 5 players I listed that the Saints should target realistically with the 89th pick are all currently still available.
The draft resumes at 7pm EST tonight, an hour earlier than it started last night. The Saints have one pick, 89th overall, slated tonight as the 2nd and 3rd rounds will happen.