Grading All Six New Orleans Saints' 2014 NFL Draft Picks

By Cian Lynch

Grading All Six New Orleans Saints' 2014 NFL Draft Picks

New Orleans Saints
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The New Orleans Saints were able fill a few major holes in the 2014 NFL Draft, despite only having six picks. After the Saints used their first round pick on an offensive weapon, the next four picks were all defensive players. It was a smart move for the Saints to draft defense-heavy and at least three of these picks will compete for playing time immediately. Here are the Saints' six picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Oregon St. WR Brandin Cooks: 1st Round, No. 20 (20th Overall)

Brandin Cooks
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Oregon St. WR Brandin Cooks: Round 1, No. 20 (20th Overall)

Brandin Cooks
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The Saints traded their first and third round picks with the Cardinals for this no. 20 spot. It was a great move because Brandin Cooks is a great fit for their team. Darren Sproles and Lance Moore have left the team this offseason and Marques Colston is having trouble separating from cornerbacks these days. Cooks is a playmaker with blazing speed that will contribute immediately.

Grade: A

Nebraska DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste: Round 2, Pick 26 (58 overall)

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
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Nebraska DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste: Round 2, Pick 26 (58 overall)

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
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Stanley Jean-Baptiste is another player who has the opportunity to earn playing time right away. Jean-Baptiste is a big, physical cornerback with Richard Sherman-like qualities. He plays aggressively against receivers and is great at run-support. He is a great piece to add to Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan's puzzle and will give the Saint's needed depth in the secondary.

Grade: A-

California ILB Khairi Fortt: Round 4, Pick 26

Khairi Fortt
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California ILB Khairi Fortt: Round 4, Pick 26

Khairi Fortt
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Khairi Fortt is a powerful linebacker with a solid combination of strength and speed. This pick is another attempt for the Saints to improve and toughen up their defense, which makes Fortt a good selection. He is known to struggle when diagnosing plays which prevents him from maximally utilizing his speed . He can contribute in the 2014 season but he came out of college prematurely and is still a work-in-progress.

Grade: B

Alabama SS Vinnie Sunseri: Round 5, Pick 27 (167 overall)

Vinnie Sunseri
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Alabama SS Vinnie Sunseri: Round 5, Pick 27 (167 overall)

Vinnie Sunseri
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Vinnie Sunseri was picked to beef up the Saints' defense but it was a puzzling pick and a reach. He only has 15 career starts and suffered a torn ACL in Oct. 2013, which ended his senior season at Alabama. He has a high football-IQ and good size but he is definitely a developmental pick. He will need to finish rehabbing before looking at a chance to play, and even then his coverage skills might not be good enough. Grade: B-

Florida OLB Ronald Powell: Round 5, Pick 29 (169 overall)

Ronald Powell
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Florida OLB Ronald Powell: Round 5, Pick 29 (169 overall)

Ronald Powell
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Ronald Powell has the physical attributes to be a stud in the NFL as a pass-rusher but he has an injury history. He did not play 2012 season due to a torn ACL and he also strained hamstring during NFL combine, which prevented him from doing all other workouts. He is known to have bad character skills and lacks a motor. Powell was the No.1 DE high school recruit in 2009 which shows his potential, but his character will hold him back.

Grade: C

Kansas OT Tavon Rooks: Round 6, Pick 26 (202 overall)

Tavon Rooks
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Kansas OT Tavon Rooks: Round 6, Pick 26 (202 overall)

Tavon Rooks
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The Saints selected Tavon Rooks to compete for a roster spot in 2014 on the offensive line. He has a good track record coming out of Kansas St. (started 23 of 26 career games) but he will need to work hard to earn a starting spot with the Saints, even a couple of years down the line. However, the Saints needed OL depth and Rooks provides that.

Grade: B

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