Pick #11, Marshon Lattimore
Negatives: Dealt with serious hamstring issues in the past.
Positives: Literally everything else.
Let me start by saying what every single Saints fan that watched the draft was saying to themselves as they saw the first 10 picks come off the board; Thank god for offensively starved teams, their early infatuation with wide receivers and running backs, and their flat out desperation for competent quarterback play. I love Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, but - to the brain dead organizations that gave New Orleans their pick of the defensive litter - you the real MVP's! The Saints ended up with a player that was far too talented for his draft slot, at a position of need, and - somehow - there were still enough blue chippers on the board for a war room discussion to take place. I can't imagine that in their wildest dreams they envisioned Marshon Lattimore falling into their lap, and they damn sure didn't think they would have any reason to take a second to think about it before running to podium if he did.
As for the player? I think we can all that this franchise hasn't had the best of luck drafting defensive backs. It's like there is already some unseen force working against them as soon as they put on a Saints jersey and step on the field. That's why you really have to be of sure of what they can bring to the table, and there is no player that brings more to the table than the consensus pick for top cornerback in the draft. Marshon Lattimore has everything you could possibly want out of a player at his position. The size. The speed. The desire to play press. The ability to shadow a wideout and be left alone on an island. The ball skills...
Assuming the kid's injuries are in the past then he's the total package, and - with only one full year of college football under his belt - that package likely isn't close to complete yet. The tools, the technique, and the potential are all there, and if he's able to put them together under Aaron Glenn then New Orleans not only got themselves their shutdown corner of the future, but they got him at a discounted rate. They entered the day needing defensive playmakers, and the board feel in such a fashion that they went home with a guy that was undeniably one of the five best in draft and an immediate, perfect fit. The fact that he's from a university with which the Saints front office has a ton of familiarity is just an added bonus...
Pick #32, Ryan Ramczyk
Negatives: Doesn't sack quarterbacks.
Positives: Literally everything else.
I'm not going to tell you I was jumping up and down on my couch holding a "I <3 Ramczyk" sign when the Saints took him to close out the first round last night. I'm not even going to tell you that the idea that Brandin Cooks was traded for defensive help and instead netted an offensive tackle didn't momentarily irk me. What I will say is that the collective "huh?" that came over the fanbase when his name was announced doesn't make him any less of a value pick.
In essence, just because it wasn't made at a position of desperate need doesn't mean it wasn't made at a position of need. I love Zach Strief as much as the next guy, but some people seem to forget that they were ready to stone him in the middle of the town square a year ago. Obviously he bounced back in a big way, but he's 34 years old and before yesterday his eventual "replacement" was starting at left guard. Terron Amstead is unbelievably talented, but he's also near-lock to miss a handful of games every season. The Saints bookended their bases by getting a guy who should be the right tackle of the future, with the very real possibility that the future is now. It sucks that Ryan Ramczyk isn't going to be bending the edge or pushing the pocket, but I much prefer getting a guy that was slotted to go in the top 15-20 as the second best offensive lineman as opposed to reaching for a second round talent. I'm rolling my eyes as I type this, but games are won in the trenches and Saints are now only a pass rusher away from being able to confidently fight a two front war. Once you put aside your personal expectations it becomes pretty difficult to argue against getting a guy that looks dominant on tape from a university that breeds successful players at that position.
Now, the only caveat to this selection is that it can't be followed by someone that's not going to have opposing quarterbacks picking grass out of their helmet. If the 42nd pick in the draft doesn't own explosiveness off the line then the Saints should hunker down and wait out the storm, because fans are going to raining hell fire from every angle. If you believe a single word they have said since the offseason started then I think agree with their need for a pass rush, but if they don't get one very, very shortly then the "best player available" explanation will fall on deaf ears.
A message to Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis: Puh-puh-puh-puhlease don't do it to us.