The data indicates to us that IF the Saints chose well last month, then we can expect about 35 percent of the players they picked up to be any good at all. The Saints picked nine guys. So probably three (or maybe four!) of them.. in the best case scenario will even be on the team very long. Maybe one of those three or four will be really good but lets not get too crazy. Really we only need to know about a couple of these players. The rest won't be around very long. It's figuring out which of those we need to know about that's the trick.
The Advocate's Nick Underhill has been trying to help. He's been watching lots of "game film".. or at least, whatever is posted to the internet on each of the Saints' draftees and writing about them one by one. As enlightening as that has been, though, it hasn't helped us whittle down the list of players we have to actually care about since Underhill is pretty positive about each one. Stephone Anthony has "traits" and can diagnose things. PJ Williams might be a "gem." Tyeler Davison "was almost too much for the Mountain West Conference to deal with."
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed those articles. Now I don't have to dig around on YouTube and scout out the likely irrelevant Davis Tull myself. I just have to read this article about how he "could prove to be a steal" and then correct for Underhill's film room Stockholm syndrome.
Actually, it's not even that bad. Here, for example, is a bit from Underhill's minicamp preview.
“I think it’s unrealistic to expect nine players to come in and start right away their first year; it’s probably unrealistic to expect four of five as well,” general manager Mickey Loomis said prior to the draft.
Loomis is probably right. It’s unlikely that four or five of the rookies win starting jobs. Right off the top, tackle Andrus Peat and quarterback Garrett Grayson are unlikely to start. In Grayson’s case, it would take a catastrophic event for him to see any meaningful snaps this season.
And the players selected in the later rounds -- linebacker Davis Tull, defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, defensive back Damian Swann, and running back Marcus Murphy -- would have to surprise in a major ways to earn starting roles at their primary position.
The players with the best chance of potentially carving out starting roles -- assuming one of the offensive tackles isn’t moved to guard, which would open up a starting role for Peat -- are linebackers Stephone Anthony and Hau’oli Kikaha.. And even then, Kikaha would have the tall task of beating out Junior Galette.
That sounds much more reasonable. What it means, though, is that most of the draft class is a bust. Because most of the draft class is always a bust. It's reasonable to assume that only three of these guys are any good.
Which three, though, might be more of a surprise than you'd expect. Here's Underhill's film study of Peat where he tells us that he pretty much owned Kikaha when the two went head to head. Kikaha is already a fan favorite before he's even seen the practice field. What are the chances that he's also already a huge disappointment? About 6 out of 9.