Saints Draft Lattimore & Ramczyk: Good Enough For Right Now?
The New Orleans Saints took Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk with their two first round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Lattimore, a corner back from Ohio St., was selected 11th-overall, while Ramczyk, an offensive tackle out of Wisconsin, was taken 32nd.
How do you feel?
I'm asking, because I'm still trying to figure out how I do.
To say I have mixed feelings is like saying Herman Goldstein is a forgotten character on "Sanford & Son".
Lattimore seems like a solid pick. He's a terrific talent, who was viewed by almost everybody as the top cornerback in the draft; one that could be a "shutdown" corner, in time.
The "in time" thing is what bothers me.
The Saints don't have time. They need to win in 2017.
While extremely talented, Lattimore is inexperienced, having played in only 16 college games, while being only a starter for one season.
A First Team All-Big Ten selection in 2016, Lattimore had some hamstring issues in 2015, but did overcome those last season.
The Saints needed a cornerback, and Lattimore was the best one, so what's the problem?
Well, again, I like Lattimore, but I hope he can contribute early. I'm hopeful, even fairly confident that he can be, but not convinced.
The biggest negative about taking Lattimore at #11 is not him, it's the position.
Going into the draft, I said that the Saints needed to draft two defensive players that could help them in 2017, and because of the depth at cornerback, I thought the best way to do that would be to take a pass rusher at #11, and then get a cornerback at #32.
Getting Lattimore is great, but would it have been better to take a pass rusher there, and then take a corner, who might not be the player Lattimore is/can be, but could help you next year?
For instance; Kevin King, a cornerback from Washington was not taken in the first round. So, we know he would have been available had the Saints gone pass rusher with their first pick.
Would the Saints be better off had they taken Haason Reddick or Derek Barnett with their first pick, and then followed up with King?
I don't know. I really don't. I'm just throwing it out there, because I'm kinda bummed they didn't get two defensive players, or two starters.
I'm saying that because I'm assuming Ramczyk won't start, at least in 2017.
Like Lattimore, Ramczyk is inexperienced, playing only one season at the FBS level.
You can make the argument that Ramczyk is the top offensive lineman in the draft, but it's not a good group, and he's likely to sit behind Terron Armstead and Zach Strief next season, before eventually becoming a starter, in time.
Again, I don't like that "in time" thing.
So, again, I don't know.
Both players, especially Lattimore, may very well be solid players, in time, but the Saints need production, and they need it next year.
If Lattimore turns out to be a Pro Bowler, but Ramczyk is a bust, is it a good draft?
What about vise versa?
If both guys are good, but the Saints don't get a pass rusher, and Reddick and Barnett, two players the Saints could have had, turn out to be good, is it a good draft?
Obviously, I have mixed feelings, so I get almost every opinion, except the one in which people like the Lattimore pick, but not the Ramczyk one.
The Saints couldn't pick a pass rusher at #32, as they were all gone.
Takk McKinley, Taco Charlton, and T.J. Watt all went before the Saints picked, Reuben Foster was gone too, and they had already taken a defensive back, so who did you want them to pick?
They chose the best player on their board. Something you probably can't fault them for.
It's what I said earlier about Lattimore; I like him, but taking him lessened the Saints' chances of getting a pass rusher.
That's why I don't think you can judge these guys, individually. You have to judge them collectively.
As individuals, I like Lattimore, and I think he is going to be a solid starting cornerback in the league, and Ramczyk should be a starting right tackle, beginning in 2018.
But the reality is that both are inexperienced, both may take some time to develop, and only one of those guys, at best, will start.
I went in to Thursday night thinking the Saints needed two defensive players who could help immediately.
We'll have to wait on the remainder of the draft before we can judge the Saints' picks, but as you can tell, I'm very much on the fence.
I think both are good players, but are they good enough, and good enough fits for right now?