NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Past drafts have been a problem for this Saints regime, but in 2015 the nine-man class made a nice impact. There were no All-rookie team contenders, nor any game-changers, but they do look like a solid group with the chance to improve.
Here's how they stacked up:
1.) Stephone Anthony (1st round, 31st)
Playing basically the quarterback of the defense all season, Anthony showed he has the foundation to be a very good player in this league. He led the team in total tackles and tackles for a loss. Though out of position at times, I think Anthony can grow into a consistent middle linebacker for this defense.
2. Hau'Oli Kikaha (2nd round, 44th)
Whether it was injuries or lack of a true position, I felt like Kikaha started fast, but hit the rookie wall this season. Kikaha finished with four sacks and four forced fumbles on the year, but also only had four tackles combined the final four weeks of the season. Nonetheless, if the Saints find his true niche, Kikaha can be an effective player for this team.
3.) Tyeler Davison (5th round, 154th)
The Saints landed Davison with the pick they obtained from Kansas City in the Ben Grubbs trade and it was the one deal they made that I believe they truly won. Davison improved over the year and became a dependable rotational player along the defensive line. Perhaps next year, Davison can enhance his role even more.
4.) Andrus Peat (1st round, 13th)
It's pretty clear Peat will be the team's starting right tackle for years to come. He showed flashes during his rookie season, but also was inconsistent at times. He even experimented at guard for a short time, though that doesn't appear to be long term.
5.) Damian Swann (5th round, 167th)
Swann made an impact when healthy, but three concussions in one season has to be worrisome for his future.
6.) Marcus Murphy (7th round, 230th)
It appears Murphy can be a homerun threat in the return game, but he must get more consistent. He also had three fumbles and finished the season on injured reserve. But for a seventh round pick, the Saints got exactly what they needed out of Murphy.
7.) Garrett Grayson (3rd round, 75th)
The Saints are clearly taking the patient approach with Grayson. He was only active for two games and never took any snaps. I'll be very curious to see his growth from year one to year two.
8.) PJ Williams (3rd round, 78th)
Spent season on injured reserve.
9.) Davis Tull (5th round, 148th)