by Kenneth Cooper
Thursday: Perplexed isn’t the Merrim-Webster word of the day, but it should be. What are the Saints doing? Who is Cesar Ruiz? And why is the president on TV telling me to inject disinfectants into my body and expose my skin to intense UV radiation?
Cesar Ruiz is a 6’3” 307-pound offensive lineman from Michigan who started at center, but can apparently play both center and guard. Did the Saints need another offensive lineman when they already have 7 interchangeable ones on the roster? No. They needed a linebacker to replace A.J. Klein, a young wide receiver that can do all the things Tre’Quan Smith isn’t doing, or a Mark Ingram type at running back like LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Instead we got another lineman.
But maybe they know something we don’t, like that somebody is about to be cut or traded. It’s not that easy to figure out. There are 5 linemen. Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk are locked in at tackle. Andreus Peat just signed a big contract at left guard. The Saints traded up last year to get Eric McCoy, who instantly became the starting center. That means right guard Larry Warford should be very concerned. It’s his contract year, and the team just drafted a rookie they can pay less money. The question remains though: Is Ruiz worth passing up an immediate need or trading down for more picks in what is supposed to be a draft deep in talent?
Friday: We don’t have a 2nd round pick. It would’ve been nice to have one. Maybe we’ll trade up. Meanwhile, I’m confused. Should I heat the disinfectant in a spoon before I shoot it up? Is Clorox more effective than Lysol? And would it be better to inject it into my forearm or toes?
We didn’t trade up. Apparently, we tried though.
Another question: Can I use the same UV lamp people grow weed with to radiate the virus, or should I look for a FDA approved one on Kickstarter? And if I take Hydroxychloroquine before or after will it prevent my skin from wrinkling or turning orange? I just don’t understand why the president would leave us in the dark about these important details. That’s just reckless.
Later (after much contemplation): There’s the linebacker they needed, Zach Baun from Wisconsin. 6’4” 230 something, runs a 4.6. On paper, he looks the part. It would’ve been nice if he was paired with a linebacker from the first round, giving the defense an infusion of youth and swagger. The defense needs it. They can say what they want about miracles, no-calls, and the offense not sustaining drives, but the last 3 seasons have ended with the defense giving up a game winning touchdown or field goal on the last play of the game.
The Saints traded up 12 spots in the 3rd round and gave up next year’s 3rd to get Baun. If Alex Anzalone and Kiko Alonso come back strong from season ending injuries, there will be a lot of depth, but also injury concerns, at linebacker.
Even later in the day: Maybe I’m a lil loopy from the Clorox, but did they just trade their 4 remaining picks? Yep, they just did. Boy, when the Saints lock onto a player, they lock on. This is the 2nd time in 3 years the Saints have traded multiple draft picks to move up and take an unproven player from a small school. 2 years ago, it was for Marcus Davenport. This year it’s for a tight end, Adam Trautman from Dayton, 6’6” 253lbs.
If you watch him on film, he looks like Jimmy Graham, muscling cornerbacks, going up in the air and physically attacking the ball. But didn’t they just sign Jared Cook to start at tight end last year? Yes, he’s getting old and wasn’t as impressive during the season as he was in training camp, but is Trautman so good or Cook so underachieving that 4 picks were required to fill the position? Head scratcher. Well, that’s the end of the draft for the Saints. They don’t have any more picks.
And then there was Saturday: Wait…the president said he was being sarcastic? And the Saints have traded back into the draft in the 7th round. They’ve traded back in to pick a quarterback, Tommy Stevens from Mississippi State, a Taysum Hill type supposedly. Will he be Taysum when Brees is off at NBC and Taysum is starting at quarterback? Who knows. This has been a strange draft for the Saints. They’ve filled only one position of immediate need. It’s been a strange few days for the president.
Sunday: And to top the weekend off with a coda of strangeness, the Saints are reportedly signing Jameis Winston to a one-year contract. Who saw that coming? Strangely, I think this is a good move. Winston had been a solid quarterback through multiple offenses and coaches before he ended up throwing 30 interceptions in Bruce Arians system last year. If Brees goes down again, the Saints should be in good hands.
Sarcasm. That man wouldn’t know sarcasm if it drafted him in the 1st round.