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NFL Draft grades: New Orleans Saints make the most of limited picks

In Sports
April 28, 2024

All those trades in the past left the Saints with only two picks in the top 100 of the draft and they went over 100 selections in between their own picks at one point. Still, the Saints grabbed an immediate starter at guard or tackle in Taliese Fuaga. He is another member of an extremely talented offensive line class that should have success in the NFL. The Saints grabbed a starting-caliber cornerback in Kool-Aid McKinstry and a developmental option at quarterback in Spencer Rattler. For as few draft assets as they came into the draft with, the Saints fared pretty well.

Rattler might not be the future, but he has a chance. He is a former big-time recruit who had his struggles in college, going from Oklahoma to South Carolina. He wasn’t playing in the best of circumstances, but still showed off some serious arm talent and the ability to play under pressure. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he was dinged for his demeanor in the “QB1: Beyond the Lights” documentary, which was filmed when he was a high schooler. If the glowing reviews from people at South Carolina are accurate, Rattler might be a steal for the Saints. He can play.

There’s not much reason to feel negatively about this pick, but it feels silly to call anything after Round 4 a bad pick — and the Saints only had two picks in the top 100. McKinstry is a solid cornerback who won’t need to be a true shutdown guy with Marshon Lattimore on the roster. It’s just kind of funny that the Saints traded up to get him despite having such little draft capital this year. Still, it didn’t take them much to get McKinstry and he does fit well.

Round 1, Pick 14: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Round 2, Pick 41: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Round 5, Pick 150: Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina
Round 5, Pick 170: Bub Means, WR, Pittsburgh
Round 5, Pick 175: Jaylan Ford, LB, Texas
Round 6, Pick 199: Khristian Boyd, DL, Northern Iowa
Round 7, Pick 239: Josiah Ezirim, OL, Eastern Kentucky

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