2011 NFL Draft - New Orleans Saints
Alabama RB Mark Ingram
Alabama RB Mark Ingram
Posted Apr 30, 2011

New Orleans Saints - NFC South, 2011 Draft Selections & Prospects

New Orleans Saints

2011 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-5) | 1st Round (6-10) | 1st Round (11-15) | 1st Round (16-20)
1st Round (21-25) | 1st Round (26-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay 

- 2010 New Orleans Draft Breakdown

First Round 
DE Cameron Jordan, California 6-4, 287
Overall Pick No. 24 CFN Overall Ranking: 27

The right pick at the right time, he was among the hottest players coming off of Senior Bowl workouts, and for a Saint defense that loves to get to the quarterbacks, and needs more pure pass rushers to be disruptive forces, Jordan can step in right away and produce. There was some talk that about him sneaking into the top 15, and now he gets to be a possible final piece of the puzzle. However, if Da'Quan Bowers turns out to be the top five talent he was expected to be a few months ago, or if Mark Ingram becomes a star, there will be plenty of second guessing.

CFN Analysis: Everyone's darling of the post-season workout circuit, Jordan was awesome in Senior Bowl practices showing off his tremendous size, good athleticism, and high motor. Very, very long, he has a big frame that carries his weight extremely well. The problem is that he wasn't always a killer in Pac 10 play, even though he was consistent and productive. He'll be asked to become a dominant pass rusher in a 3-4, but he's a better athlete than a polished sack artist and will disappear for long stretches. With his versatility and with his drive he'll be an excellent pro for a long time. However, don't be shocked if he's a slight disappointment compared to other top ends in the draft.
CFN Projection: First Round

Second Round
RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
5-9, 215 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 28 CFN Overall Ranking: 12

Woooooooo. If New England had kept the pick, Ingram would've been the centerpiece of a Patriot running game that's loaded with mediocre talent. Instead, New Orleans just came up with a special piece to the offensive puzzle and he just made Drew Brees a whole lot better. Five years ago, when running backs were valued more, he would've been a sure-thing top ten pick, if not a top three. New England, you got too cute … again. Multiple picks are nice, but a Heisman running back of Ingram's caliber doesn't fall in your lap every day.

The 2009 Heisman winner and main cog for a national title team is the one back in the draft who might be a franchise difference maker. In today's day and age of multiple back rotations and dime-a-dozen runners, Ingram has it when it comes to that special something that makes a great back special. Emmitt Smith didn't run fast and wasn't all that big, but he always seemed to know how to produce, and that's Ingram … to a point.

He's a very thick, very tough runner with better hands than he gets credit for, and with an innate ability to make the right cut at the very last nanosecond, he's the definition of a downhill runner. Patient, he rarely makes a wrong decision and he makes up for his errors with power and always fighting through contact.

While he had a decent Combine, showed he doesn't have elite speed and is a mediocre athlete. Forget about any home runs and he's not going to provide the Adrian Peterson-like highlight runs. He was dinged up early last year and was never consistent, and there might be some concern that he's a bit of a one-year wonder. With his running style he might have a short shelf life, but he'll be ultra-productive for a few years on the right team.
CFN Projection:
First Round

Third Round    
ILB Martez Wilson, Illinois 6-4, 250 (OLB)
Overall Pick No. 72 CFN Overall Ranking: 18

Seriously, can New Orleans NOT make an interesting pick in this draft? After helping out the pass rush with Cameron Jordan and getting Mark Ingram for the running game, Wilson is a terrific value pick with the ability to make big plays in space and is a strong, versatile presence who can make big things happen. He might have slid, but he's in a great spot.

CFN Analysis: Able to play inside or out, Wilson was a superstar recruit for the Illini who overcame getting stabbed in a bar fight, and suffering a neck injury, to have a fantastic 2010. The injury happened early enough in 2009 to give him a full year to heal, and then he showed what he could do as the leader of the Illini back seven. The prototype, he might not be a top prospect for the middle, but he'd dominate in an inside spot in a 4-3 and can shine as a pass rusher on the outside. He looks the part, was fantastic at the Combine, and has all the tools needed to be a producer at a high level for a long, long time. He's still scratching the surface on what he can become, and he doesn't have the best instincts, but players with his skills and body type are rare. He got by, though, simply by being far more talented than everyone else, and now he has to learn the finer points of the position to reach his Pro Bowl potential.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round   
CB Johnny Patrick, Louisville 5-11, 191
Overall Pick No. 88 CFN Overall Ranking: 129

The Saints keep on loading up with good, athletic defenders, and Patrick has the quickness to be a part of a rotation. He's not going to be a star of a starter, and he's only going to be a piece of the puzzle, but he's a good producer who knows what he's doing and should fit in nicely. He doesn't have to be the main man, and that's a plus.

CFN Analysis: A strong senior season turned him into a good prospect, but he has to show that last year wasn't a fluke. With good size and nice quickness, he has the look and he has the burst, but he's not fast and he's not fluid. The 4.55 at the Combine was bad, a knee injury kept him from being doing much on the quickness drills, and the 13 reps on the bench were disappointing considering there are some who might think of him as a possible safety. However, he's physical and he's not afraid to come up with help against the run. Not known as a high-character team guy, he'll have to have a fire lit under him and he'll have to prove he's tough enough to be a consistent No. 2 corner. He's a good football player, but he has to maximize his potential.
CFN Projection: Third Round
Seventh Round   
DE Greg Romeus, Pitt 6-5, 264
Overall Pick No. 226 CFN Overall Ranking: 85

CFN Analysis: It's all about his knee. He has the length and the right frame to be a true defensive end, and he has the room to put on more good weight. Strong, he's physical enough to do some shoving around, while he's tough enough to fight against the run. Again, though, it's all about a knee that was injured late in the season and might put his timetable back a year. Along with the knee is a back issue that likely won't go away, but overall, his biggest problem could end up being a lack of NFL athleticism that'll put a hard ceiling on what he can do. Even so, he should be a great value pick.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round
Seventh Round
OLB Nathan Bussey, Illinois 6-1, 217
Overall Pick No. 243   CFN Overall Ranking: Unranked

CFN Analysis: Way undersized, he's a smallish, active playmaker who's too slow to be a regular in the secondary and not big enough to work as a linebacker. He could be used as a third down outside linebacker and an occasionally pass rusher if he finds a fit in some way, but he'll mostly be a special teamer.
CFN Projection: Free Agent