2020 NFL Draft

The Saints 2020 Draft Class

Michael C. Hebert, Saints website

"Less is only more when more is no good."- Frank Lloyd Wright

The Saints were clearly subscribers to this theory as they only made three selections in this year's draft. They entered the 2020 draft with five picks, but packaged some of their remaining picks this year a nd some next year to move up in the third round twice to target guys they coveted. Let's take a quick look at each prospect:

1st Round #24 Overall: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

Cesar Ruiz

NFL.com

This pick was largely met with moans and groans because it wasn't a sexy pick. LB Patrick Queen from LSU was on the board and was a position of need, so were several WRs and CBs. However, the Saints decided to bolster the interior of the offensive line. Go back and watch the Falcons game in the Dome last year or the Vikings playoff game and tell me this was a bad pick. Every time they've invested in the offensive line over the last few years, it's paid off nicely. Expect Ruiz or Erik McCoy, last year's stud rookie C, to move to guard as veteran Larry Warford appears to be on the outs.

3rd Round #74 Overall: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

Zack Baun

NFL.com

Baun is one of the steals of this draft in my opinion. He was a guy that had 1st or no later than early 2nd round potential and fell to the 3rd. This was most likely the result of him having a diluted drug test sample at the combine and a shaky medical history. Failed drug tests are often overlooked if the talent is there. Without having the opportunity to do medical tests on their own, teams may have been scared off. Labeled a tweener because of his ability to rush off the edge and drop in coverage, Baun will find a fit in Dennis Allen's system as he's used to putting guys in position to succeed.

3rd Round #105 Overall: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

Adam Trautman

NFL.com

Despite having Jared Cook back for another season, the Saints made the move to draft Trautman. At 6'5 and 255lbs, Trautman provides another large target at tight end. The signing of Emmanuel Sanders lessened the chances of them drafting a WR. Couple that with drafting Trautman and I can see the thought process. He's a willing blocker who'll need to improve, but his value is as a pass catcher. He will learn a lot under the learning tree he's about to be under.

7th Round #240 Overall: Tommy Stephens, QB, Mississippi State 

He's a dual threat guy, but much bigger than you'd think. At 6'5 and 235lbs, he's not your typical smallish dual threat quarterback. He's very raw and needs a ton of work before he can be relied upon to even be a backup. Look for him to most likely be on the practice squad. If he makes the 53-man roster, he'll be inactive most weeks. This is more of a long term developmental guy if he latches on.

Overall, this was a decent draft class for the Saints. Most will say they only filled one position of need, but you never want to draft solely for need. The Saints, under Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, have been known to draft and think outside the box. The team has remained competitive under their tenure. Ruiz, Baun, and Trautman all have traits teams look for in their respective positions. Click the links and read their NFL.com draft profiles. Do some research instead of following the crowd. No matter what you may have heard, this was a good draft for the Saints.

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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