Adam Forsythe / April 25, 2020
The New Orleans Saints entered the 2020 NFL Draft with five total selections. After using their first-round pick on Michigan center Cesar Ruiz, the Saints were left with on selection in each of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. With the Saints having one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, they knew it would need to value quality over quantity in this year’s draft. They also knew they could be aggressive in pursuing some of the top ranked players that they really liked. That’s exactly how the Saints approached the third round of the draft.
Their first move of the night came when they decided to trade up from their spot at pick number 88 to the Cleveland Browns pick at number 74. It cost the Saints their 88th overall selection as well as a 2021 third round pick, but they also received the Browns 2020 seventh round pick in the trade.
With the 74th overall pick acquired from the Browns, the Saints selected former Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun.
Baun had a monstrous 2019 season with the Badgers as he amassed 75 total tackles and 12.5 sacks. He even added two forced fumbles and one interception to his resume. Linebacker was a position of need for the Saints that many people believed the team would address in the first round, but they were able to wait until the third round and select a player that many scouts considered a first-round talent. Baun will fit in nicely with the New Orleans Saints.
After the selection of Baun, the Saints were not done making moves to get the players they wanted. In a somewhat surprising move, the Saints traded up with the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints received the Vikings 105th overall pick in the third round, however, it cost the Saints their fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh (acquired from the Browns) selections in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With the 105th pick in the draft, the Saints selected former Dayton tight end Adam Trautman.
Trautman was the number one tight end in the draft for many NFL scouts so it was extremely surprising to see him still available in the third round. In his final season with the Dayton Flyers, Trautman hauled in 70 receptions for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns. Although the Saints already have a proven starter at tight end with veteran Jared Cook, Trautman gives the Saints a dynamic receiving threat to employ in two tight end sets that may even take over for Cook in the future.
The name of the game for the Saints’ 2020 NFL Draft was quality over quantity. The Saints felt comfortable trading away their later picks in order to get two players that they believe can be starters on their team. Given the tremendous depth of the Saints’ roster, it would have likely been very difficult for a late-round pick to make the team. The Saints front office now has the ability to fully prepare for the wave of undrafted free agents once the draft concludes later on today.
Be sure to follow Gumbo sports on Twitter: @GumboSports
Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @a_forsythe1020