2017 New Orleans Saints’ Draft & OTA Review

Marshon Lattimore is a player who the Saints are counting on to contribute as quickly as possible. He has been receiving work on both the first and second units during OTAs. The ex-Buckeye is getting all of the work as an outside corner and it is probably unlikely he’ll play inside at this point. The top rated corner in the draft has made several athletic plays in team drills, including a leaping knockdown of a pass intended for former Buckeye teammate Michael Thomas. Lattimore has been practicing with specialized athletic tape on his hamstrings to help avoid a chronic injury he had in college. Like all rookies, the speedy corner has had both good and bad plays in camp. Ryan Ramczyk is still on the mend from his hip surgery, but he did get walk-through reps. He worked at first team left tackle now that Terron Armstead is out for 4-6 months with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Ramczyk started at left tackle in a pro style run based offense at Wisconsin. He is really strong as a run blocker and picking off linebackers on the second level. Marcus Williams had his head on a swivel in OTAs and broke up passes intended for Brandon Coleman and Corey Fuller. Williams appears to be picking up the defense and the Saints hope he and Lattimore can energize the secondary. The former Ute’s instincts and quick reactions have been on display as has his ball handling ability. He has been working as the single high safety on the first unit. Running back Alvin Kamara had his moments in OTAs, particularly when used on wheel routes where he beat a linebacker, caught the ball cleanly, and sped past a safety. Undoubtedly the most explosive player the Saints drafted in 2017. New Orleans sees a lot of Darren Sproles’ playmaking ability in Kamara. The former Vol is a utility caliber athlete who can be lined up all over the offensive formation. Alex Anzalone received first team reps in the nickel sub packages. The Saints love the linebacker’s versatility. He can play any of the second line of defensive positions. In one particular play, Anzalone locked up wide receiver Rashard Lawrence and carried him down the seam and stayed in his back pocket. The ex- Gator has had recurring shoulder issues since 2013. If healthy he can be a force. Pass rusher Trey Hendrickson has gotten some reps with the first team defense. It was apparent at the East-West Shrine practices that Hendrickson’s passion for the game burned like a thousand fires. He has demonstrated explosiveness as well as a quick arm over technique. A disruptive player who can play the run as well as the pass. A relentless chase player. Al-Quadin Muhammad has a checkered past at Miami and was a surprise selection. He was the centerpiece of an NCAA investigation into illicit payments from a car rental company. He played only one year in the past three. Muhammad was technique raw in OTAs. A developmental type of player who was dismissed from Miami. Pro day and Combine numbers: 6032, 253, 4.88/40, 22/BP, 30.5/VJ, 9- 8/BJ, 4.38/SS, and 7.46/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Drew Brees needs interior protection and the Saints tabbed Larry Warford as the guy to plug up the inside seams. Warford signed a four year 34 million dollar contract with 17 million of it guaranteed. Defensive tackle Nick Fairley was re-signed. Others signed to bolster the roster include AJ Klein (IB), Ted Ginn Jr. (WR/RS), Adrian Peterson (RB), Manti Te’o (IB), and Alex Okafor (DE).

NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Travin Dural (LSU) WR and Cameron Tom (Southern Mississippi) OC.

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