New Orleans Saints 2022 NFL Draft Recap

New Orleans Saints 2022 NFL Draft Recap

by May 3, 2022 0 comments

The New Orleans Saints entered the 2022 NFL Draft as a mystery team. A team that not many people knew what to expect. They made a religious effort to make trades before and during the draft. Weeks before the draft, the Saints made a stunning trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, in which the Saints traded picks 18, 101, 237, and a pair of future draft picks and in return received picks 16, 19, and 194. They were not done yet when it came the day of the draft. The Saints traded picks 16, 98, and 120 in exchange for the 11th overall pick from the Washington Commanders. The word “chaos” could be used to describe the draft for the Saints as it was exactly that all seven rounds.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.

Best Pick: Chris Olave (Round 1, Pick 11)

After all of the trading, the dust finally settled for New Orleans as they got their guy. Olave is a fantastic pick and widely viewed across the league as a top-three receiver in this class. What makes this pick so great for the Saints is Michael Thomas coming back for the upcoming season. The pairing of them will be able to help alleviate some pressure off of Jameis Winston. Olave will play a pivotal role in the offense starting from day one. The Saints not only got their guy, but they got a guy who has a chance to put up fantastic numbers in year one.

Grade: A

For more on Olave, check out our scouting report on him.

Worst Pick: Trevor Penning (Round 1, Pick 19)

Not only did the Saints cause chaos by moving up before and during the draft, but they reached on a very raw player. When mentioning that Penning is raw, it’s also important to note that he has tremendous upside and if any team can bring that upside out of him, it’s the Saints. He fits the blueprint for what they are attempting to build and replaces Terron Armstead while becoming an immediate protector for Winston. The holding calls will occur and the mistakes will happen, but Penning has the opportunity to play a long time in this league. 

Grade: C-

For more on Penning, check out our scouting report on him.

Sleeper Pick: D’Marco Jackson (Round 5, Pick 161)

After trading throughout this draft the Saints only selected five total players. Adding a guy like Jackson might not seem like a big deal with Demario Davis and Pete Werner hawking down the linebacker position, but it adds great depth at the position and allows Jackson to play a special team’s role in year one. This is one of those picks that you look at in the fifth round and say, they got good value here. He’s coming off a year in which he was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and broke records as an FBS player. Look for this to be one of those players that grow into the Saints system and flourish as an NFL linebacker.

Grade: B

Summary

The Saints wrapped up their draft with only five total selections, but they were effective selections. It also tells you that they believe they have all the tools on their roster to win now. Along with that, it shows the faith they have in Winston to get it done. With all of the movement, they made leading up to and during this draft the Saints were able to get it done and get the guys they fell in love with. There is a lot of unknown with some of these players, but the major thing to know is that Winston has a reliable target in Olave for at least the next two years while he is under contract.

Grade: B-


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