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NFL New Orleans Saints

Ranking the New Orleans Saints’ 2014 Draft Picks From Worst to First

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Ranking the Saints’ 2014 Draft Picks From Worst to First

New Orleans Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints selected a total of six players in the 2014 NFL Draft, successfully addressing a number of glaring needs, most notably at wide receiver and cornerback. While this draft was far from spectacular, the Saints appear to have done reasonably well, and have positioned themselves for another possible Super Bowl run. Here are all six 2014 draft picks for the New Orleans Saints, ranked from worst to first.

6. OT Tavon Rooks-Kansas State

Tavon Rooks
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

6. OT Tavon Rooks-Kansas State

Tavon Rooks
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

This sixth round selection was the Saints’ final pick of the draft, and while depth on the offensive line is a legitimate concern for the team, Rooks does not exactly generate much excitement. Of course, players taken this late in the draft rarely make a significant impact, but Rooks could end up on the practice squad. The selection of a center would have been ideal here, but it didn’t happen.

5. S Vinnie Sunseri-Alabama

Vinnie Sunseri
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

5. S Vinnie Sunseri-Alabama

Vinnie Sunseri
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

While Sunseri is an intelligent player from an excellent program, his selection in the fifth round is a bit puzzling. The safety is recovering from a significant knee injury and the Saints are fairly well stocked at the position. The Saints may have been thinking about special teams with this pick, but it seems other needs could have been addressed here, particularly the offensive line.

4. OLB Ronald Powell-Florida

Ronald Powell
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

4. OLB Ronald Powell-Florida

Ronald Powell
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints grabbed another linebacker with the fifth-round selection of Powell, a player who dropped this far because of injuries in college. While health is an obvious concern, Powell is extremely quick off the ball and an outstanding pass rusher. This pick provides more quality depth at the position, and a potential starter down the road if Powell can stay on the field.

3. ILB Khairi Fortt-California

Khairi Fortt
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

3. ILB Khairi Fortt-California

Khairi Fortt
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

This selection will provide necessary depth at the linebacker position for the Saints. Fortt is an athletic linebacker who excels as a playmaker. He will likely not be a threat to start, at least initially, but should contribute immediately, and represents decent value for the fourth round.

2. CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste-Nebraska

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

2. CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste-Nebraska

Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

This is easily the best value pick of the draft for the Saints, as Jean-Baptiste could have gone as high as late first round, yet fell to 58th overall. The big cornerback is a work in progress having been converted from wide receiver, but has the potential to become an above-average corner. There have been comparisons made to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, which is extremely flattering for Jean-Baptiste and bodes well for the Saints.

1. WR Brandin Cooks-Oregon St.

Brandin Cooks
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

1. WR Brandin Cooks-Oregon St.

Brandin Cooks
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints really wanted the speedy Cooks, and traded up to the 20th pick in the first round to select him, sacrificing a third-round pick in the process. It is unlikely Cooks would have fallen to 27th, so this was a necessary step to secure his services. Cooks will step right in and contribute significantly in the Saints offense, providing an undersized but explosive element missing since the departure of Darren Sproles.