Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the New Orleans Saints.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|11||CB||Marshon Lattimore||Ohio State|
|103||EDGE||Trey Hendrickson||Florida Atlantic|
Best Value: EDGE Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami
Al-Quadin Muhammad has a solid and intriguing foundation on the field. Muhammad has the juice needed to win as a pass rusher, with the short area burst and quickness to beat blocks. Muhammad has a solid arsenal of hand techniques and pass rush counters to help him get after the quarterback. While his moves can be elongated, he has a baseline skill set that can develop with coaching. Muhammad is a solid run defender and is able to set the edge, squeeze gaps, and anchor.
While he isn’t over fluid in space, Muhammad can attack forward, close distances in a hurry, and play physical. Muhammad projects as a versatile EDGE who should compete to start in time, but at a minimum will provide reliable depth if he remains committed.
Worst Value: S Marcus Williams, Utah
Marcus Williams has exciting playmaking potential on the back end and is reliable to be a single high safety. Williams does well to read the quarterback’s eyes and get a jump on passing plays. He tracks and attacks the football well in the air with excellent ball skills to project the ball’s flight path and arrive to the catch point on time.
Williams isn’t the most physical player but will mix it up when he has to although it’s clear he prefers to be the last line of defense. Williams projects as a starting free safety that will be best served playing in the third level where he is free to roam and make plays on the football.
Could Surprise: EDGE Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic
Florida Atlantic’s all-time sack leader, Trey Hendrickson is a relentless pass rusher who has strong counter moves and nice hustle when pursuing the passer. He does well to strip the football when he arrives at the quarterback and plays with good aggression on passing downs. When his pad level is low and he properly works his hands, Hendrickson flashes the ability to play through blocks and makes an impact as a run defender.
With that said, his technique and pad level are inconsistent, which causes issues when he attempts to maintain proper run fits. Able to flow laterally, Hendrickson is comfortable working in space towards the sideline. Hendrickson profiles as a quality rotational piece in a 4-3 alignment, but has starter traits.