I thought it might be fun to go back and do a re-draft of the 2015 Saints draft.  I’ll base it all on the Career AV and other stats from pfref.com.  I’m coming into this draft with a few goals in mind: I need a pass rusher and a backup quarterback.  I also need to stock up on good young offensive and defensive linemen.  (I won’t be considering undrafted players, even though there were a few good ones, including Malcolm Butler and Willie Snead.)

Let’s start with the first pick (round 1, pick #13), which the Saints used on Andrus Peat.  (Peat is ranked #12 in Career AV, so strictly based on that, this was a very good pick.)  This was something of an emotional pick for Sean Payton, having had a long friendship with Peat’s dad.  With one of the better left tackles (Armstead) in the game and a solid performer at RT (Strief) it left a lot of fans scratching their heads (and other, even less positive reactions) when this pick was announced.

Whom should the Saints selected instead?  Well, of the players that were still available only 4 of them have better Career AV numbers to this point than Peat.  What’s more, it would have been big reaches for 2 of them: David Johnson went 86th overall and Bernardrick McKinney went 43rd overall.  The other 2 would have been reasonable picks at #13: Marcus Peters and Landon Collins.  But Peters had off the field concerns (a little matter of choking one of his coaches or some such) and the honeymoon wasn’t yet over with Kenny Vaccaro, whom the Saints had drafted 15th overall 2 years earlier in 2013, so going with Peat *was* a reasonable pick at the time.  In this hindsight 20/20 re-draft I’m going with Marcus Peters here.  He has the 4th AV  of any player in this draft and fills a big need for the team at CB.

Old pick #13: Peat, new pick #13: Marcus Peters, CB

The next pick in the first round that year (round 1, pick #31 overall), was Stephone Anthony.  (Anthony’s Career AV rank is not as bad as you might think: #52 overall.  Recall he had a decent rookie season.)  The Anthony pick hasn’t worked out, but it was a position of need.  The Saints fell in love with his measurables (height, weight, speed) and took him as the first inside linebacker in that draft.  It was a reasonable pick with the information known at the time and actually he was my personal favorite at the inside LB spot in the draft, with McKinney a close second.

There are plenty of good options here to replace the Anthony pick with.  One of them is Landon Collins, who went a couple picks later to the Giants at #33.  Another good option is a DT, Malcom Brown, who went to the Patriots a pick later at #32.  I’m sticking with the need of a good inside linebacker and going with Bernardrick McKinney, who went at #43 to the Texans.

Old pick #31: Stephone Anthony, new pick #31: Bernardrick McKinney, LB.

Next pick for the Saints came in round 2 (round 2, #44 overall) with pass rusher Hau’oli Kikaha.  His Career AV ranking is #103, not good for a player selected at #44.  Kikaha has been injured much of his career, so you might want to give the Saints some slack because of that, but considering his injury history in college (2 ACL’s) most fans will be uninclined to do so.

Saints had some good options here at #44.  The Vikings took Eric Kendricks at #45.  Kendricks’ Career AV is #19, which would have been a very solid pick at #44, but seeing as how I’m already going with McKinney at #31, I’m not going ILB again here.   I need linemen in this draft.   I’m going with Mitch Morse, the Guard Kansas City took a few picks later at 49th overall.  Morse has a Career AV of 15, which puts him at 14th best, and since I won’t be taking future guard Peat, I think it makes sense to take Morse here instead.

Old pick #44: Hau’oli Kikaha, new pick #44: Mitch Morse, OG.

Next pick for the Saints: Garrett Grayson at #75.  The Grayson pick hasn’t worked out, but most 3rd round quarterbacks don’t work out.  Some do, and I think it made sense to try to get one at that spot, but I’m not making the same mistake in my hindsight 20/20 draft.  I know the Saints need defense, and I already have some good solid picks in Peters and McKinney, but I still need a pass rusher.  I’m rolling with the 2nd best sack performer in this draft even though it goes against Saints culture to draft an LSU player, I’m going with Danielle Hunter here at #75.  Hunter has 18.5 sacks, 2nd only to Vic Beasley in this draft.

Old pick #75: Garrett Grayson, new pick #75: Danielle Hunter, DE

Three picks later the Saints took PJ Williams with the 78th pick.  The jury is still out on PJ, but the reality is the Saints haven’t gotten much production out of this pick yet, due to injuries.  Plus, I’ve already hit paydirt with Marcus Peters in this draft.  I’m going to instead go with the #1 best player in this entire draft here with the 78th pick: David Johnson.  It’s not a position of need necessarily, but he’s just too good to pass up here.  Cardinals originally got him at #86 in the steal of the draft, but I’m swooping in and grabbing him at #78.

Old pick #78: Garrett Grayson, new pick #78: David Johnson

Next up for the Saints: Davis Tull in the 5th round, #148 overall.  The Tull pick has been a complete bust, not making that same mistake again.  I’ve got some options here.  The Dolphins would take Jay Ajayi with the very next pick at #149, but I already have David Johnson and Mark Ingram.  I’d love to take Stefon Diggs, but he was snatched up a couple picks earlier at #146.   I’m going to go with David Parry, NT out of Stanford here.  He’s going to fit nicely into my defensive rotation on the line.

Old pick #148: Davis Tull, new pick #148 David Parry, NT

Next up, Tyeler Davison, whom the Saints took at #154 in the 5th round.  Love this pick and I’m sticking with it, despite already taking a DT just a few picks earlier.  I’m stocking up on young D-Linemen in this draft.

Old pick #154: Tyeler Davison, new pick #154: Tyeler Davison.

Next up, Saints took Damian Swann at #167.  I already have my stud CB, and Swann hasn’t really worked out, partly due to injuries, but I’m looking at some other options here instead.  I’m continuing to stock up on young linemen, this time taking Denzelle Good, Offensive Tackle, out of Mars Hill, whom the Colts took at #255.  Maybe he’s not beating out Strief or Armstead, (or maybe he does) but he gives me some good depth at the Tackle spot at the very least (has started 15 games for the Colts).

Old pick #167: Damian Swann, new pick #167: Denzelle Good, OT

In their final pick (7th round, #230 overall) of the 2015 draft the Saints took Marcus Murphy, which hasn’t work out.  I’m going with the backup quarterback I won’t have now that I’ve elected to not take Grayson in the 3rd.  I’m going with Trevor Siemian, current Broncos starter.  Broncos originally got him with the 250th overall pick, but I don’t feel like I’m reaching taking him here at #230.  Could be my quarterback of the future, but will give me a solid backup in the meantime.

Old pick #230: Marcus Murphy, new pick #230: Trevor Siemian, QB

So, there you have it, my hindsight 20/20 2015 Saints draft do-over.  I might not look good coming out of this draft, but in a couple years I’ll be looking like a stinking genius.  I’ve got my shutdown CB in Marcus Peters, my inside LB in Bernardrick McKinney, a couple good young offensive linemen in Mitch Morse and Denzelle Good, my stud pass rusher in Danielle Hunter, a great RB in David Johnson, a couple good young defensive linemen in David Parry and Tyeler Davison, and a good young backup QB in Trevor Siemian.  The only holdover is Tyeler Davison.  Andrus Peat was a solid pick, too, but I have an even better option on the board with Marcus Peters.

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