Post-Draft Review/Grade-New Orleans Saints

By Adam Caplan
May 23, 2012

Photo: Mark Kuzlarich

Pre-Draft Needs

DE, CB, DT

Draft Class

Round 3 - Akiem Hicks/DT
Round 4 - Nick Toon/WR
Round 5 - Cory White-CB
Round 6 - Andrew Tiller/G
Round 7 - Marcel Jones/OT

Post-Draft Needs

DE, CB (veteran)

Analysis

The Saints, because they didn’t own a first or second-round pick for this draft, didn’t pick until the second day (third round).

Third-round pick Akiem Hicks, because the team is not deep on the interior of its defensive line, has a chance to play early on. Hicks has tremendous short area quickness for a lineman of his size. He also can be dominant at times, but as a personnel source noted, he doesn’t always play to his ability. Hicks also played at a lower level of competition in Canada, so he’ll have to prove that he can make the big step up, but the talent is clearly there.

Fourth-round pick WR Nick Toon figures to compete for the No. 5 role at the position this season. Known for his route running and physical play, Toon is capable of lining up at a few of the wide receiver positions. However, his lack of ideal speed for the position is the main reason why he dropped a bit in the draft.

Fifth-round pick CB Cory White, according to one personnel source, could play safety or cornerback because of his size (5-11, 205). However, the Saints are expected to use him at cornerback this season, which is where he lined up in college. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likes his cornerbacks to press, and White should fit in well within that alignment. And because the team is thin at cornerback, White could get a chance to challenge for the third or fourth spots on the depth chart.

Sixth-round pick G Andrew Tiller, despite being selected late, should have a legitimate shot to make the team coming out of the preseason because the Saints are thin on depth on the interior of the offensive line.

Seventh-round pick OT Marcel Jones has the idea size for left tackle (6-6, 320), but had a lengthy injury history in college. He’s a true developmental practice squad player.

The Saints addressed as many needs as they could with only five selections, but at least two of them should contribute this season.

Grade: B-

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