On Monday in Drafting the Next Saints Legend we took a look at possible first round selections in comparison to current and former Saints players. When looking at Saints greats and future greats that came in the second or third round there are several players that have probably outplayed their draft position. Many pundits feel that the Saints will go with a defensive lineman in Round 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft. Since they have pressing needs on the defensive side of the ball, we will stick with the defense for Rounds 2 and 3 as well.
Two defensive backs that came to the Saints in the second round are perfect for this comparison. Roman Harper, a second round pick in 2006, and Tracy Porter, selected in 2008. Harper played in 140 games in his career and Porter notched 82 with the Saints. They finished with 11 interceptions each, but Harper had 18 sacks to Porter’s 2.5, so they were used quite differently in the defensive scheme. Of course, Porter’s heroics in the 2010 Super Bowl run, including a 74-yd pick-six against Peyton Manning ranks among the greatest plays ever made by a Saints player.
How do some of the 2016 draft class match up physically? For comparison purposes let’s look at one safety and three cornerbacks that are thought to be available when the Saints pick in the second round. (There aren’t complete stats on Roman Harper because he was injured during the pre-draft period in his year.)
William Jackson III is the fifth ranked corner out of Houston. He led the nation in passes defended last year and is a decent fit on paper with both Harper and Porter. Deiondre’ Hall (Northern Iowa) has four career pick-sixes but most see him converting to safety due to his larger frame and slower speed times. Both Rashard Robinson (CB) and Jalen Mills (S) are from LSU and are not predicted to go before the third round. Both have similar frames and times in several drills, but Robinson is considered the more polished player. He is compared to Dominique Rodgers Cromartie – brash, physically gifted and prone to getting burned on occasion. Mills lacks some of the on-field experience, but could be a good fit in the third round as a home-grown product. Tracy Porter played high school ball across the Mississippi from LSU and was a local favorite in part because of his local connection.
Whichever way the draft falls, and no one ever knows for sure who will be available where, one of these players might be the next playoff hero for the Saints!
|William Jackson III||CB||6′||189||4.37*||6.86||4.32||9.6||10|