Analyzing The Saints 2017 Draft

The NFL draft might not have gone exactly the way the New Orleans wanted, but head coach Sean Payton was more than pleased with what two first-round selections brought his team.

After picking up the top cornerback and best tackle prospect in the draft, according to, Payton liked what the Saints got out of the 11th and 32nd overall picks.

Only time will tell, of course. But getting Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore with their own pick and Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk, an All-America last season, with the pick they obtained in the Brandin Cooks trade made it a successful night as far as Payton was concerned.

Payton said the Saints had Lattimore rated among the top four prospects on their draft board and gave Ramczyk a top-15 grade even though he played just one season of Division I football. In selecting Ramczyk, the Saints ignored a need for an elite pass rusher that might have been available in a draft loaded with defensive talent -- a fact that wasn't lost on their fans.

The Saints may have thought they had a shot at Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster with the 32nd pick of the first round Thursday night -- which would have made their fans extremely happy. But San Francisco pulled off a trade for the 31st pick, jumping over the Saints in the process, and the 49ers took Foster.

While Foster told Bay Area reporters he hung up on the Saints so he could take the phone call from the 49ers that informed him of their plans, Loomis said it didn't happen that way.

"I saw that report, that's not exactly right," Loomis said. "We called him. Sean (Payton) was talking to him, asking him some questions and said, 'Hey, if we pick you, we'll call you back.'"

Foster said the Saints had a few questions for him before asking to speak to his girlfriend, who is from Baton Rouge. Then, Foster said, the call came in from the 49ers on another phone.

"Typically, we don't call a player until we're on the clock and pick them," Loomis said. "But we had questions, so that's why that occurred."

Here is a closer look at each selection:

Round 1/11 -- Marshon Lattimore, CB, 6-0, 193, Ohio State
Mock drafts had him going in the top five or six picks, but a run on offensive players pushed this speedy, but physical, corner who excelled in press coverage down to the Saints.

Round 1/32 -- Ryan Ramczyk, T, 6-6, 314, Wisconsin
The Saints were looking defense here. But when they didn't see the player they wanted, they took the best player from a slim crop of tackles to eventually take over on the right side.

Round 2/42 -- Marcus Williams, S, 6-1, 202, Utah
With only one safety on the current roster signed beyond the upcoming season, the Saints quickly jumped at this physical, ball-hawking free safety to give them stability in the back end.

Round 3/67 -- Alvin Kamara, RB, 5-10, 215, Tennessee
Minus a speedy, shifty change-of-pace back since letting Darren Sproles get away, the Saints got what they hope will be a perfect complement to Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson.

Round 3/76 -- Alex Anzalone, OLB, 6-3, 240, Florida
In what is the latest move in a seemingly endless quest for outside linebackers, the Saints hope they finally got their man in Anzalone even though he was plagued by injuries in college.

Round 3/103 -- Trey Hendrickson, DE, 6-4, 266, Florida Atlantic
Hendrickson's quickness and 4.65 speed in the 40, and his relentless pass-rushing ability, were impressive enough for the Saints to wait until the end of the third round to fill a big need.

Round 6/196 -- Al-Quadin Muhammad, DE, 6-3, 253, Miami
The Saints took a chance on another player who could help them improve their 2016 total of 30 sacks. Even though he was impressive in draft workouts, he has to overcome off-the-field issues that caused him to miss two of the last three seasons.

Copyright © 2017 TTWN Media Networks Inc. Photo: Getty Images

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