Family Business


Bryan Flynn

The 2015 NFL draft was big for the New Orleans Saints. The team had five of the top 80 picks in the first two days with two first-rounders, one second-rounder and two third-rounders.

Everyone looks at things differently, but I feel like a player drafted in the first three rounds should be a starter fairly quickly. First-rounders should start right away, second-rounders should be on pace to start or give major contributions halfway through their rookie season, and third-rounders should show an impact in the final quarter of their rookie season.

New Orleans left some fans scratching their heads with its first pick of the draft. At 13th overall, the Saints selected offensive tackle Andrus Peat out of Stanford University. It isn't always sexy to draft offensive linemen, but they are the core of offense. You can't run or pass if you can't block or pass protect.

The Saints also selected inside linebacker Stephone Anthony from Clemson University with their other first-round pick. Anthony has the potential to be a three-down linebacker but must develop his skills more. However, he should be able to help early in the season.

Second-round pick Hau'oli Kikaha is a pass-rushing specialist linebacker from the University of Washington. He'll do what he does best: get after the quarterback on third down. He could be a three-down linebacker if he gets better against the run.

Both of the Saints' third-round picks worry me. In April 2014, Colorado State University quarterback Garrett Grayson hurt his clavicle while moving a couch, which required surgery. Cornerback P.J. Williams was one of many Florida State University players with off-the-field issues, including DUI arrests. Grayson has the ability for NFL play, but his size is worrisome because of the physical hits he'll take. Williams can play safety or corner, but personal issues could make him a bust.

New Orleans spent the rest of the draft adding depth and role players.

In the fifth round, the Saints drafted David Tull, an outside linebacker from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Tyelet Davison, a defensive tackle from Fresno State University; Damian Swann, a cornerback from the University of Georgia; and Marcus Murphy, a running back from the University of Missouri.

This draft has the potential to help the Saints reach a better 2015, but the hope will lies in the picks that can play right away. If New Orleans' picks don't help, another 7-9 season could be in store for the team.

Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports and at facebook.com/jfpsports.


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