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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
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The New Orleans Saints were short on resources in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they found ways to add impactful rookies anyway. Whether it was trading up for highly-graded prospects like Erik McCoy and C.J. Gardner-Johnson, or taking a shot on undrafted free agents such as Deonte Harris and Shy Tuttle, the Saints managed to get better last season.

But they didn’t hit on every draft pick, or all of their big-name signings after the draft. Two of their five draft picks ended the year on injured reserve (Saquan Hampton and Kaden Elliss), and a third draftee was cut from the practice squad (Alize Mack). Those are unfortunate realities for many rookies selected in the closing rounds, which is why the Saints should trade more of those picks for proven veterans.

With all of that considered, here are our grades on the 2019 Saints rookie class:

C Erik McCoy. Grade: A+
McCoy snapped the ball on 99.4% of the Saints' plays as a rookie and rarely made mistakes.

DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Grade: A
Gardner-Johnson wasn't playing often until midseason, but he could be a star in this league if he picks up next year where he left off.

FS Saquan Hampton. Grade: D
Hampton was injured for much of the year, and made some critical mistakes on special teams when he did play. Here's hoping he gets healthy and bounces back.

TE Alize Mack. Grade: F
Mack was released in the first wave of roster cuts, and lasted just a few weeks on the Saints practice squad before the team waived him for good.

LB Kaden Elliss. Grade: C
Elliss went down early in the year with a torn ACL, but there wasn't much to complain about in the few games he played. He projects well moving forward.

WR Deonte Harris. Grade: A+
Harris was a phenomenal undrafted pickup, and the Saints are lucky to have him. There aren't many other rookies on the first-team All-Pro list.

DT Shy Tuttle. Grade: B
Tuttle will be remembered for his stiff-arm against Matt Ryan, but he was a really helpful addition to the defensive line.

WR Emmanuel Butler. Grade: D
Butler spent the year on the practice squad, which was disappointing given his exciting training camp. Maybe he learned a thing or two and will blow up in 2020.

WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey. Grade: C
Humphrey bounced on and off of the active roster, averaging just 9 snaps per game as a blocker. It's a shame he never got many targets.

DE Carl Granderson. Grade: C
Granderson averaged just over 14 snaps per game, but he showed up in a few big pass-rush situations. Hopefully he can avoid more legal trouble and continue to help the team.



GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Not sure how you can give Lil'Jordan and Kaden Elliss a C, & then give Shy Tuttle a B.

Good analysis besides that. Tuttle deserves an A or A- at worst imo. I mean, the guy was undrafted.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 2:21 pm


Laaz2750
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2008
6713 posts
 Online 

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Man, I forgot about Kaden Ellis... hopefully he can come back and make a real impact in our LB corps


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
I think Elliss will surprise many people next year. He looked very good before his injury. He was all over the field in the preseason.


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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
quote:

The New Orleans Saints were short on resources in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they found ways to add impactful rookies anyway.


It really is amazing what we added with only 1 pick in the top 3 rounds...McCoy, CGJ, Deonte Harris, & Tuttle. Talk about getting the most out of limited resources.


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20
WicKed WayZ
LSU Fan
Louisiana Forever
Member since Sep 2011
23132 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Seeing as how we hit on so many good players




I’d love to see us trade down and acquire more picks. We need them this year and if we draft well again we can make another run. Just have a lot of holes to fill. Really need a 2nd round pick with so much depth this year


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htran90
New Orleans Saints Fan
BC
Member since Dec 2012
25095 posts
 Online 

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Depending on the qb status, look at a team like indy who has 2 2nd rounders.


WicKed WayZ
LSU Fan
Louisiana Forever
Member since Sep 2011
23132 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Well I was more so hoping a team like Tennessee. If they really like a guy and want to jump ahead of the Texans in the draft or some other team that could take a player they like...swap first round picks with them and give us their 2nd as compensation


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Midget Death Squad
Notre Dame Fan
Meme Magic
Member since Oct 2008
14956 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
quote:

Those are unfortunate realities for many rookies selected in the closing rounds, which is why the Saints should trade more of those picks for proven veterans.



no

"Proven veterans" that can be had for 6yh-7th rd picks are either at the end of their carreer, thus costing way more than a rookie, or they are veterans who have proven the aren't very good. Either way it's a better risk/reward with the drafted player that is cheap and can be taught your way while still moldable

Obviously this isn't always true; sometimes you do find some trades for current players that are worth late round picks


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L.A.
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2003
52004 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
quote:

FS Saquan Hampton. Grade: D
Hampton was injured for much of the year, and made some critical mistakes on special teams when he did play. Here's hoping he gets healthy and bounces back.
FWIW I hated this pick when they made it. I know it's round 6, but there was some real talent left on the board like DB Jaquan Johnson, WR Kelvin Harmon, CB Corey Ballentine, WR Travis Fulgham, OT Oli Udoh, and DT Isaiah Buggs. Hampton was a reach and almost certainly would have been available as an UDFA.
This post was edited on 1/14 at 2:36 pm


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10
Townedrunkard
Member since Jan 2019
547 posts

re: Grading the 2019 New Orleans Saints rookie class
Agree except Humphrey should be a D as he didn’t do much. And Granderson was getting rotational snaps at the end of the year. He was getting some pressure. He should be a C+ or B- for being an UDFA and getting meaningful snaps.


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