After Further Review: Grading the Saints draft class at the midw - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

After Further Review: Grading the Saints draft class at the midway point

First round pick Marshon Lattimore has been all the Saints have hoped for so far this season. (Source: Mark LaGrange) First round pick Marshon Lattimore has been all the Saints have hoped for so far this season. (Source: Mark LaGrange)
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They don’t make busts for Canton after eight games into a career. But still, there’s no denying the impact the Saints draft class has had on their current record this season. Not even 2006’s infamous haul could claim such sudden success.

1st Round (11th overall)- Marshon Lattimore

Grade: A+

I’m sure the Saints envisioned Lattimore becoming a shutdown cornerback when he fell to them at 11. But there’s no way they could have foreseen that he would become one within the first seven games of his rookie year. Lattimore is legitimately shutting down one side of the field and has been one of the biggest catalysts for the defense’s turnaround.

1st round (32nd overall)- Ryan Ramczyk

Grade: A+

No one is complaining about the Ramczyk pick anymore. Originally drafted to be the heir apparent to Zach Strief next season, Ramczyk was called to duty earlier than expected. He has not missed a single snap this season and has started at both right and left tackle with injuries to Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. He looks like he’s been doing it for years.

2nd round (42rd overall)- Marcus Williams

Grade: B

Williams has been solid playing centerfield in the Saints defense. He has an interception and earned the trust of the Saints coaching staff. He’s played 99% of the snaps on defense, second to only linebacker A.J. Klein.

3rd round (67th overall) – Alvin Kamara

Grade: A+

Sean Payton’s new favorite weapon. Kamara can do it all and has been outstanding during this first half of the season. Originally selected to be the change-of-pace back, the Saints quickly realized Kamara is much more complete than that. His emergence basically facilitated the Adrian Peterson trade. He’s first on the team in touchdowns, first in yards per carry, second in total yards from scrimmage, second in rushing yards, second in receptions and third in receiving yards. Oh, and he’s only played 40% of the offensive snaps.

3rd round (76th overall) – Alex Anzalone

Grade: B-

Anzalone earned a starting job at weakside linebacker and was playing well before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the year in week three. Anzalone came into the league with durability concerns which would be the only thing holding him back from a productive career.

3rd round (103rd overall)- Trey Hendrickson

Grade: B

Quietly, Hendrickson has provided some quality depth along the defensive line. He’s able to play inside and outside in different packages and has nine tackles, two sacks and two pass break-ups on the season.

6th round (196th overall)- Al Quanin Muhammad

Grade: C-

Muhammad remains the only draftee that hasn’t made an impact. He’s only been active for one game and played just three defensive snaps. Hopefully, he’s able to contribute in the near future.

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