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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
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The New Orleans Saints are putting up points and winning games in spite of a very shallow depth chart at wide receiver, thanks to Herculean efforts from All-Pro Michael Thomas and creative play-calling from Saints coach Sean Payton. Thomas has proven he can put the world on his shoulders for New Orleans’ passing game.

However, the lack of production from the group as a whole can’t be ignored: in the four games since their bye week, all of the non-Thomas receivers have combined for 8 receptions and 90 receiving yards (with two touchdown catches) on 21 total targets. Those stats all came from Tre’Quan Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. Practice squad call-up Krishawn Hogan has logged 37 snaps in that time, but has yet to receive his first target with the Saints.

Fortunately, the situation shouldn’t remain this grim forever. The 2020 NFL Draft class is shaping up like one of the best groups in recent memory, rivaling the 2014 class that put Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, John Brown, Sammy Watkins, and Allen Robinson into the pros.

While the top draft prospects in this year’s draft are underclassmen who or may not leave early for the NFL — names like Alabama stars Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, Oklahoma big-play threat CeeDee Lamb, and Clemson’s clutch performer Tee Higgins — there are plenty of options generating excitement around the league. Four talented juniors have already declared, at least two of whom are popular picks in the conversation of who might be a first-round pick:


Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado
Jalen Reagor, TCU
Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State
Gabriel Davis, UCF


Shenault has a reputation as one of the most versatile players in the draft class, having lined up everywhere from slot receiver to tight end and fullback, and still found ways to make plays. Think of him as a Swiss army knife in the mold of Taysom Hill, but with more aptitude as a receiver (which is saying something, given Hill’s four touchdown catches this season).

Reagor is another hot name in draft circles, given his game-breaking speed and ability to track the ball in flight deep downfield. He’s averaged over 15 yards per catch in his career despite the Horned Frogs’ instability at quarterback (half a dozen different passers have targeted Reagor over the last three years), drawing comparisons to Cooks, the Saints’ own former first-round pick.

Something has to be said for both of the two big men who have declared early, as Hodgins (6-foot-4) and Davis (6-foot-3) have each caught 70-plus receptions and scored double-digit touchdowns this season. There’s room in the NFL (and in New Orleans) for either of them to contribute.

And this doesn’t even include the numerous talented seniors in this year’s draft class, ranging from Minnesota graduate Tyler Johnson to Arizona State product Brandon Aiyuk, as well as Texas Longhorns fixtures Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson. Keep an eye on Ohio State alum K.J. Hill and experienced South Carolina receiver Bryan Edwards.

Of that group, four have already accepted invitations to participate in the 2020 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., taking the opportunity to practice in front of NFL scouts ahead of the annual all-star game. Those participants include Aiyuk, Edwards, as well as Longhorns prospects Duvernay and Johnson. They’ll be joined by receivers not previously mentioned such as Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt), Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty), Michael Pittman Jr. (USC), and Chase Claypool (Notre Dame), all of whom will have a good shot at improving their draft stock.

So all of this was said to say: the Saints do not lack for options at addressing the wide receiver position during the offseason. They’ve thrown resources at the problem before, it just hasn’t worked out — Smith hasn’t consistently helped the offense after being drafted in the third round last year, while the Saints lost their wager that Cameron Meredith would be a better free agent addition than what it would have cost to keep Willie Snead. Here’s hoping the players New Orleans already has to work with can continue doing enough to compete for Super Bowl LIV.


BobBoucher
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2008
10512 posts
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re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
By the time this WR class is putting up numbers, we’ll likely have a different QB under center.


Chad504boy
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Feb 2005
137548 posts
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re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
MT13 came out of a fairly stacked class and Saints nabbed the right guy.


Cow Drogo
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jul 2016
6332 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
We won’t have any picks for 2 years after the double ditka burrow trade we pull


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85
GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Yep. Didn't even have to trade up. We just stayed put & he fell right into our laps. Middle of the 2nd round I think.

After that, I think we traded up into the late 2nd round to take Vonn Bell.

Elite 2nd round draft that year.

This post was edited on 12/5 at 2:48 pm


Chad504boy
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Feb 2005
137548 posts
 Online 

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
McCoy ended up a great pickup but definitely costly.

I guess we'll see the ongoing move up in the draft and kick the can again.


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
quote:

McCoy ended up a great pickup but definitely costly.

I guess we'll see the ongoing move up in the draft and kick the can again.


We will if they keep hitting on the trade ups. They've actually hit on all of them. I would even be ok if they hit on 75% of them.

The 6 trade ups since the 2016 class...Erik McCoy, CGJ, Davenport, Kamara, Vonn Bell, & Onyemata. If it's not broken...don't fix it. This all started happening after Ireland got here. He was here for the 2015 draft, but he was only here for a very short time. 2016 was the 1st draft that he had time to fully prepare for.

The 2014 & 2015 drafts kind of sucked. Brandin Cooks in the 1st (traded up) & Tyeler Davison in the 5th were the only good picks. Peat at pick #13 & PJ Williams at pick #78 were over-drafted. All the other picks were horrible misses.

2016
1st - DT Sheldon Rankins - HIT
2nd - WR Michael Thomas - HIT
2nd - SS Vonn Bell - HIT
4th - DT David Onyemata - HIT
7th - RB Daniel Lasco - miss

2017
1st - CB Marshon Lattimore - HIT
1st - OT Ryan Ramczyk - HIT
2nd - FS Marcus Williams - HIT
3rd - RB Alvin Kamara - HIT
3rd - LB Alex Anzalone - 1 good season & 2 seasons on IR. Yet to be determined
3rd - DE Trey Hendrickson - Looking like a hit
6th - DE Al-Quadin Muhammad - We cut him, but he's started 4 games for the Colts this year

2018
1st - DE Marcus Davenport - HIT
3rd - WR Tre'Quan Smith - Yet to be determined
4th - OT Rick Leonard - miss
5th - CB Natrell Jamerson - We cut him, but he plays ST for the Packers
6th - CB Kamrin Moore - miss
6th - RB Boston Scott - We cut him, but he's a decent player for the Eagles
7th - OL Will Clapp - Looking like a hit for a 7th rounder

2019
2nd - OC Erik McCoy - Looking like a hit
4th - DB CGJ - Looking like a hit
6th - S Saquan Hampton - Yet to be determined
7th - TE Alize Mack - miss. Already cut
7th - LB Kaden Elliss - On IR this year. Looked good in the pre-season
This post was edited on 12/5 at 3:16 pm


Shiftyplus1
New Orleans Saints Fan
Drew Brees is My Co-Pilot
Member since Oct 2005
10468 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
It's still up in the air whether the Davenport trade has been worth it. He still might develop into the elite edge rusher theyvwanted, but as of right now, missing that first round pick kind of hurts, and his production hasn't been what the team had hoped for.


Riseupfromtherubble
USA Fan
You'll Never Walk Alone
Member since Jun 2011
34282 posts
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re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
quote:

By the time this WR class is putting up numbers, we’ll likely have a different QB under center.



There have been plenty of rookie WR's that have put up good numbers recently. OBJ is the obvious one, but Thomas scored 9 touchdowns as a rookie. Ridley scored 10 as a rookie last year.

The first round pick is going to be tricky this year. I honestly think you could go BPA and still get a really good WR in the 3rd, but there are going to be some studs still available at the back end of the first. Unless a big time player just falls into your lap for some reason, you almost have to get the best WR on the board at the end of the first. I really don't recall a WR class that's looked this good predraft on paper


mikeytig
LSU Fan
NE of Tiger Stadium
Member since Nov 2007
5447 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Still hoping Davenport proves his worth. Made alot of progress this past year. That 2018 draft looking more and more like a bust.


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Ex-Popcorn
Member since Nov 2005
1616 posts
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re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Shenault is exactly what we need. He's a complete stud. Great hands. A bull with the ball. Very good wildcat runner.


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UptownnMike
New Orleans Saints Fan
Uptown New Orleans
Member since Aug 2015
3495 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Same for QB we gotta get one for the future. I dont want another WR from UCF though lol.


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DomincDecoco
On da northshore
Member since Oct 2018
1015 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Wouldn't say Lasco was a miss in the 7th (2016)...he was a very good ST contributor and even had some carries as I recall...poor bastard had a horrific concussion, hope all the best for him.

Biggest miss of Irelands tenure was definitely Leonard in the 4th...we felt it the end of last year too.

Edit: Also wouldnt say Hit on Davenport yet, just like I wouldnt say Miss 4 games ago. Give the kid some time, but signs look positive so far

This post was edited on 12/5 at 3:44 pm


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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
9608 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
quote:

It's still up in the air whether the Davenport trade has been worth it. He still might develop into the elite edge rusher theyvwanted, but as of right now, missing that first round pick kind of hurts, and his production hasn't been what the team had hoped for.


He's a hit unless he regresses or never improves his pass rush over next couple of years imo.

I realize we gave up a lot for him, but he's great for only his 2nd season. He's an elite run stopper & an above average pass rusher (maybe even better than above average).

I assume he's going to get better as a pass rusher, but he looks like a hit for a 2nd year DE imo. He's better than Cam Jordan was in his 2nd year.
This post was edited on 12/5 at 4:12 pm


WicKed WayZ
LSU Fan
Louisiana Forever
Member since Sep 2011
23316 posts
 Online 

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
He has 6 sacks with the chance to have double digits in just his second year


You miserable fricks wouldn’t be satisfied until he has 20 every year


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41
Laaz2750
New Orleans Saints Fan
Los Angeles
Member since Aug 2008
6726 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
yeah 10 sacks (so far) over his first two seasons is pretty damned near elite for a Saints pass rusher over the last twenty years or so.


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Shiftyplus1
New Orleans Saints Fan
Drew Brees is My Co-Pilot
Member since Oct 2005
10468 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
People are apparently still in denial over the fact that the Saints front office overreached with the Davenport deal. For what he cost, his production just has not justified the expenditure. I'm sorry, but it hasn't, not when Trey Hendrickson has looked just as effective. And if Hendrickson had as many snaps as Davenport instead of 1/2, his numbers might even be better than #92's.

Trey has gotten in on 32% of defensive snaps, and has 4 sacks, 4 TFL, and a FF.

Davenport is in on 63%, and has 6 sacks, 4 TFL, and 3 FF.

If you think what the Saints gave up for Davenport is okay when a 3rd rounder is doing comparable things with half the playing time, I don't know what to tell you.


Chad504boy
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Feb 2005
137548 posts
 Online 

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
quote:

Trey has gotten in on 32% of defensive snaps, and has 4 sacks, 4 TFL, and a FF.

Davenport is in on 63%, and has 6 sacks, 4 TFL, and 3 FF.

If you think what the Saints gave up for Davenport is okay when a 3rd rounder is doing comparable things with half the playing time, I don't know what to tell you.



you got any rushing statistics or strictly focused on pass rush?

also, comparing first 2 years of careers, trey had 2 sacks. Davenport is at 10.5 with 4 to play.
This post was edited on 12/5 at 4:28 pm


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goatmilker
LSU Fan
2014 drunkin Bobby award winner!
Member since Feb 2009
48237 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
Put Trey in on every 1st and second down having to play runs screens draws and passes.

It's why he's not passed Dav.

Duh.


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Froman
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jun 2007
28348 posts

re: Saints stand to benefit as loaded 2020 WR draft class gets deeper
He’ll be gone before we pick, but Jerry Jeudy would be a terrific addition to this team.


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