Saints head to the playoffs thanks in large part to an incredible rookie class

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The Saints have ended a streak of three straight 7-9 seasons and found themselves hosting a playoff game on Sunday. And the keys to that turnaround arrived in the last weekend of April, when the Saints brought together one of the best rookie classes in NFL history.

The draft class in New Orleans is headed by first-round pick Marshon Lattimore and third-round pick Alvin Kamara, the favorites to be the NFL’s defensive and offensive rookies of the year. It’s been 50 years since a team has had both the offensive rookie of the year and the defensive rookie of the year in the same season.

But Lattimore and Kamara aren’t the only stellar rookies on the Saints. Their second first-round pick, offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk, started all 16 games. Their second-round pick, safety Marcus Williams, started 15 games. Their second third-round pick, linebacker Alex Anzalone, started the first four games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Their third third-round pick, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, contributed as a situational pass rusher before suffering an ankle injury. Undrafted rookie running back Trey Edmunds has played in all 16 games. Undrafted rookie cornerback Justin Hardee played in 14 games.

Rookie classes like that don’t come along often. The Saints got younger and better this year.

29 responses to “Saints head to the playoffs thanks in large part to an incredible rookie class

  1. .
    Some trades work for both parties. The Patriots received Brandin Cooks and the Saints used New England’s first rounder on Ramczyk. Each team was improved following the deal.
    .

  2. Huge credit to Jeff Ireland and the reason he got an extension recently. Our drafts had been awful for several years running, ESPECIALLY after the 1st round. Once he got settled in, we’ve had back-to-back solid drafts.

  3. “Alvin Kamara is going to be Reggie Bush”

    What an insult! Kamara is already better than Bush was at any point in his NFL career.

  4. edon8334 says:
    January 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    Alvin Kamara is going to be Reggie Bush

    ——————————

    He is already better than Bush ever was. Not a high bar to clear.

  5. Good scouting is what causes good drafts, not early picks. I hear all this talk about teams tanking, and even fans hoping their team loses so that they can get an earlier pick. When you have good scouting you can pick good players late in the draft.

  6. I love Reggie for owning the Cardinals in the divisional round our SB year but COME ON – Kamara busts through the line and breaks tackle after tackle, Reggie’s signature move was to get the ball and sprint directly out of bounds for a loss of 1

  7. I’m a saints fan but lets hit the brakes on THE BEST ROOKIE CLASS EVER. It’s a great class but to say THAT is a little premature. Let’s hope for all Saints fans like me that it is true.

  8. ——–edon8334 says:
    January 3, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    Alvin Kamara is going to be Reggie Bush——–

    If by “Reggie Bush” you mean “Super Bowl Champion,” then yes, Alvin Kamara is definitely going to be Reggie Bush.

  9. lbmclean says:
    January 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    “The Miami Dolphins had an incredible rookie class”

    – nobody ever

    ————

    Sam Madison 2nd rd, Jason Taylors 3rd rd., derrick rodgers 4th rd. Not a bad haul. Mind you Zach Thomas was 5th rd the year before, and patrick surtain the year after. Turned out to be a top 5 defense.

  10. It balances out the picks taken away from BountyGate. It took them a few years to recover from losing picks and the head coach for a year. Hopefully, they and the rest of the NFL learn something.

  11. happy for the Saints. they were ready to pick MLB Reuben Foster, but Frisco traded up for Seattle’s (yes their divisional rival) pick and drafted him instead. The Saints then picked Lattimore, who may have been Seattle’s pick. Not only did the 49ers get the LB they want but the Saints helped keep a good DB out of Seattle.

  12. This dude Kamara is a threat every time he touches the ball. It’s a tossup between him and Kareem Hunt for ROTY. They both run fast and angry, and will continue to put up big numbers next year

  13. Veteran BOOM with rookie ZOOM — what a pair they make. over 1,500 years each this season for an NFL record. Geaux Saints!!!

  14. @ omeimontis,
    WRONG!
    Seattle, with the worst oline in the NFL traded the pick that they should have used to draft Ramczyk, to San Francisco now they will face Foster 2x per season… Foster was already on the phone with the Saints front office when Seattle traded the pick…
    Turns out that as a rookie Ramczyk is already the 25th best O-lineman in the NFL…and the Saints long time RT Strief is out for the year. So , thanks Seattle!
    You lost your mind and the Saints struck gold with Ram

  15. happy for the Saints. they were ready to pick MLB Reuben Foster, but Frisco traded up for Seattle’s (yes their divisional rival) pick and drafted him instead. The Saints then picked Lattimore, who may have been Seattle’s pick. Not only did the 49ers get the LB they want but the Saints helped keep a good DB out of Seattle

    nope. Saints took latimore at 11. they took the tackle after foster.

  16. kneedeepinthegame says:
    January 3, 2018 at 9:58 pm
    The dolphins will continue to stink. Had Jeff Ireland and let the man walk. Clown a** organization.
    —————
    In fairness, what did Jeff Ireland ever do with Miami? Drafting is pretty much 50.

  17. happy for the Saints. they were ready to pick MLB Reuben Foster, but Frisco traded up for Seattle’s (yes their divisional rival) pick and drafted him instead. The Saints then picked Lattimore, who may have been Seattle’s pick. Not only did the 49ers get the LB they want but the Saints helped keep a good DB out of Seattle.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    That’s incorrect. They took Ryan Ramczyk with that pick which they acquired from the Patriots for Brandin Cooks.

  18. Wanna know what’s not fair?

    At some point, Kamara was a high schooler, and some regular kids had to play his team in football. That’s simply not fair. Guy is a machine.

  19. It’s not just the rookie class, it’s the 2nd and 3rd year guys. Michael Thomas, Andrus Peat, Ken Crawley, Vonn Bell, Tyeler Davison, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead, PJ Williams. While ya’ll have been sitting around running your mouth about Brees getting old and the Saints window closing, they have been quietly building a machine full of young, hungry players and dominant lines on both sides of the ball. And they’ll have $40 million in cap room this offseason. This is a team built to be a force for the next 10 years.

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