Matt Tennant

2010 Draft Grades: Saints

This was a strange draft for the Saints, and it got off the bizarre start with the selection of Patrick Robinson in the 1st round. I like Robinson, perhaps more than most even, but I don’t see why the Saints wanted him with their first selection. Jabari Greer had a very solid season, Tracy Porter came on strong in the playoffs and they spent their 2009 1st-round pick on Malcolm Jenkins. The addition of Robinson creates a crowded secondary in New Orleans.

I think Charles Brown will be a steal in the late 2nd round. I certainly don’t fault them for landing a potential left tackle that late in the draft. However, I am shocked that they didn’t spend either of their first two picks on a defensive end or outside linebacker. Their run defense was a disappointment in 2009, and if they’re going to repeat as champs in 2010 they need to address that hole.

Jimmy Graham has a ton of upside and he’s in a perfect situation in New Orleans. He’ll be able to take a backseat to fellow Hurricane Jeremy Shockey early in his career while he continues to learn the position. The former basketball player has a long way to go before he’s ready to start, but they could potentially use him as a receiver in favorable situations, specifically in the red zone, early on.

Al Woods was a great 4th-round pick. Their interior defensive line struggled at times in 2009 and Woods will provide some much needed depth. His career at LSU was a bit of a disappointment, but he has the talent to be a steal. He was worth the risk where the Saints landed him.

Matt Tennant was one of the best picks in the draft in the 5th round or later. Its rare that you take a guy in the 5th round and immediately view him as a future starter, but Tennant has an excellent chance to replace Jonathan Goodwin at center in a year or two.

A lot of people soured on Sean Canfield after he struggled at the Senior Bowl, but I decided to stay on the bandwagon. I loved the progress he made throughout his career. While he may not have elite arm strength or accuracy, I think he has enough skills and the smarts to develop into a quality quarterback. He has a decent shot at beating out Chase Daniel for the backup job in 2010.

I really don’t hate any of the Saints picks, so I can’t give them a poor grade. However, I don’t understand how they managed to go through the draft without adding a single linebacker or defensive end. Those are two glaring holes that needed to be addressed. Someone like Eric Norwood in the 3rd round would have been a great addition. In the long run, I think this draft class will do just fine, but they did very little to help themselves in the immediate future.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Saints Comments Off

All-Underrated Draft Prospects Team

QB – Sean Canfield, Oregon State
Possesses legitimate NFL size and can make all the throws. Only a full-time starter for one year, but he has plenty of upside.

RB – James Starks, Buffalo
Missed the entire 2009 season with a shoulder injury, but could prove to be a steal if he’s fully recovered.

RB – Lonyae Miller, Fresno State
Played in the shadow Ryan Mathews. A Big, physical downhill runner. Prototypical size and athleticism for a workhorse running back.

WR – Eric Decker, Minnesota
Flying under the radar due to a foot injury. He’ll fall because of durability issues, but could be a steal.

WR – Kerry Meier, Kansas
Converted quarterback became an elite possession receiver over the past two seasons. Limited upside, but has the skills to find a role in an NFL offense.

TE – Colin Peek, Alabama
One of the better blocking tight ends in this year’s class. Nothing special as a receiver, but will make plays from time to time.

OT – Charles Brown, USC
Nearly as athletic as Bruce Campbell, yet for more productive. Could be a steal if the falls to the 2nd round.

OT – Kyle Calloway, Iowa
Doesn’t wow you in anything that he does, but is as solid as they come. Projects as a quality right tackle.

OG – John Jerry, Mississippi
Has Larry Allen-like size and surprising athleticism to go with it. Could potential play right tackle as well.

OG – Zane Beadles, Utah
Versatile enough to play all five positions. May never be a star, but will be a valued backup at the worst.

C – Matt Tennant, Boston College
Maurkice Pouncey is getting all the attention, but Tennant isn’t far behind in terms of talent.

DE – Corey Wootton, Northwestern
Lack of athleticism means he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. Could anchor a 3-4 team at defensive end.

DE – Lindsey Witten, Connecticut
Impressive athlete who could be an instant-impact pass rusher.

DT – Cam Thomas, North Carolina
Perfect fit at nose tackle; rated higher than Terrence Cody in my book.

DT – Tyson Alualu, California
Would be a 1st-round pick in most other years. A three-technique tackle with similar skills to Gerald McCoy.

OLB – Larry Hart, Central Arkansas
Late-round sleeper with huge upside. Lacks ideal height, but has impressive athleticism.

OLB – Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State
Collegiate defensive end replaced Vernon Gholston at Ohio State. Comparisons inevitably hurt his stock.

ILB – Donald Butler, Washington
Impressive athlete didn’t get the attention he deserved on a talent-starved unit in Washington.

CB – Walter Thurmond, Oregon
Athletically gifted corner coming back off an injury. Can make an instant-impact on special teams.

CB – David Pender, Purdue
Workout numbers are off the charts. Undersized, but has the speed and leaping ability to make up for it.

S – Chad Jones, LSU
The differences between him and Taylor Mays are minimal. Better ball skills than Mays.

S – Morgan Burnett , Georgia Tech
Has the size and athleticism to play either safety position.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off