Saints 2022 Draft Grades
Before we get into New Orleans Saints 2022 draft grades, remember that they started their offseason with head coach Sean Payton retiring, marking the second year in a row the Saints organization lost a key piece of the puzzle that kept the saints as NFC contenders. With Payton’s retirement, speculation about how the Saints should approach team building for the next few years began.
Some said the Saints should draft a QB and find a replacement for Drew Brees, while others said they should blow the whole thing up and trade players like Michael Thomas and Marshon Lattimore for draft capital and just go into a full rebuild. But after the 2022 NFL Draft, it was clear that the saints had other plans.
Saints 2022 Draft Grades
Round 1 (No. 11 overall): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
With their first pick, the Saints addressed a need at the wide receiver position and drafted Ohio State receiver Chris Olave. Olave is a highly skilled route-runner that can consistently get separation. He is a great deep threat and serves as a great complement to Michael Thomas.
Round 1 (No. 19 overall): Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
In the offseason, the Saints lost their bookend LT Terron Armstead and needed to find a replacement to protect James Winston’s blindside. Trevor Penning is an athletic tackle that can play both LT or RT, which should bode well for the Saints because they can try Ryan Ramczyk over at LT to see how he fairs.
Round 2 (No. 49 overall): Alontae Taylor, CB, Tennessee
Due to the Saints moving up and down the draft board, they had to wait a while before making another selection. But in the second round, they went for another position of need and drafted Tennessee DB Alontae Taylor. Taylor has really good length and is athletic. For years, the Saints have been trying to find another corner that they are comfortable with opposite of Lattimore, and I believe Taylor at least has the athleticism to make him a realistic option for that role.
Round 5 (No. 161 overall): D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State
D’Marco Jackson is a good athlete that has good closing speed to the ball carrier. For years, the Saints have been trying to find a reliable option next to Demario Davis. Jackson is an instinctive player that has a real opportunity to win the starting job next to Davis.
Round 6 (No. 194 overall): Jordan Jackson, DT, Air Force
The Saints have spent a good deal of draft capital trying to find an edge rusher opposite of Cameron Jordan but have neglected to find a true interior presence to dominate on the interior of their defense. So entering the 2022 draft, defensive tackle was a need. In the sixth round, the Saints drafted DT Jordan Jackson. Jackson had good sack production this past year at Air Force and is a great developmental piece for this interior defensive line rotation.
The Saints did a great job maneuvering up and down the draft board to land two first-round picks while selecting good players at key positions of need. They then managed to draft players with great upside for depth.
Overall Grade: A-
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