After Further Review: Revisiting and regrading the 2015 Saints d - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

After Further Review: Revisiting and regrading the 2015 Saints draft class

(Source: Sean Fazende) Andrus Peat has become the most impactful player of the 2015 Saints' draft class (Source: Sean Fazende) Andrus Peat has become the most impactful player of the 2015 Saints' draft class
(WVUE) -

It was the biggest Saints draft class since 2006. Now two seasons in, the picture of the nine-player 2015 draft haul is getting a bit clearer. It is still early but here’s where things currently stand with that group.

1st round (13th) – OL Andrus Peat

Peat has settled in to be a steady offensive lineman. He was slated to play left guard this season and was very effective there. However, with the injury to Terron Armstead, he spent most of the season at left tackle. Regardless, after a slow start to his career, it appears Peat will be a quality starter for years to come with the Saints.

1st round (31st) - LB Stephone Anthony (from Seattle)

Of the entire class, Anthony had the most impactful rookie season. That’s why his epic fall from grace is so surprising. Anthony went from leading tackler in 2015 to barely seeing the field in 2016. Hopefully, Anthony can regain his rookie form and become an effective player once again.

2nd round (44th) - OLB Hau’Oli Kikaha

Unfortunately, the injury label he had coming out of Washington has reared its ugly head. Kikaha didn’t play a down his second season after a promising rookie year. He led the team with four forced fumbles and had four sacks. The question is will the third ACL tear of his career be too much for him to overcome?

3rd round (75th) - QB Garrett Grayson

The highest drafted Saints quarterback since Archie Manning in 1971 has made no impact through two seasons. Grayson spent 2016 on the practice squad and hasn’t really shown any special traits as a signal –caller. Certainly not enough to have confidence that he can eventually replace the greatest player to ever put on a Saints uniform. Heading into his third year, there is no guarantee Grayson will be in New Orleans after training camp.  

3rd round (78th) - CB P.J. Williams (from Miami)

With back-to-back season-ending injuries, there’s an incomplete feeling to Williams’ time in New Orleans. During training camp he established himself as the starter opposite Delvin Breaux but a nasty concussion ended his season in week two.

With the injuries to both Williams and Dannell Ellerbe, it’s fair to say that so far the Miami Dolphins have gotten the better end of the Kenny Stills’ trade.

5th round (148th) - LB Davis Tull

A small school product who didn’t make the roster his second season. Tull never actually played a game for the Saints.

5th round (154th) - Tyeler Davison (from Kansas City)

Acquired with the pick they obtained for Ben Grubbs from the Chiefs, Davison has been rock solid. He’s steady part of the defensive line rotation and looks to have a future with the club. Of the three trades for draft picks the Saints made during the 2015 offseason, Davison was clearest win for the Saints.

5th round (167th) CB Damian Swann (via trade with Washington)

After a solid start to his rookie season, Swann ended up on IR after suffering three concussions. He ended up on IR again this year before the year even began.

7th round (230th)- RB Marcus Muprhy

Murphy appeared to be the Saints’ answer at returner in the early part of his rookie season. He even returned a punt for a touchdown against Carolina in week three of 2015. But since that time, Murphy has been on a steady decline. This season he only appeared in three games and lost his spot to TommyLee Lewis. His future with the club is tenuous.

Outlook:

Two steady contributors (Peat, Davison)

Three major health concerns (Kikaha, Williams and Swann)

One enigma (Anthony)

One minimal impact (Murphy)

Two non-factors (Grayson, Tull)

Grade:

C-

With such a wide net cast in this class, through two seasons you would hope the Saints would have netted more than just two steady contributors out of nine picks.

There’s still hope that some of the injured players can eventually get healthy and emerge, and perhaps Anthony can re-discover his ability. But those are all big ‘ifs.’

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