Saints went into the 2019 NFL Draft with out a lot of firepower, but they’re creating the most of it with picks like Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
A couple of months ago, we had been just having into the approach of covering the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. There hadn’t been a cost-free agency period but. There hadn’t been a scouting combine. I hadn’t but received my copy of Pro Football Focus’ 2019 NFL Draft Guide, plug. I began by taking main requires into consideration, this was prior to Max Unger’s retirement. I looked exactly where the Saints had been selecting at quantity 62 in the second round and attempted to recognize a player to target there who may well be readily available and cover a will need. That was the 1st draft profile I did for the 2019 NFL Draft back in late February. That profile was for Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, a security out of the University of Florida.
I got some chuckles more than the selection for a couple of factors. 1 was the argument that CGJ, as he will be identified by writers who hate lengthy names, wouldn’t be readily available at choose 62. That was a valid argument. At the time there had been these who had him pegged as a late 1st round talent. I had him going someplace in the 40s myself. But I produced the argument then that you by no means know what’s going to come about on draft day.
Whilst you hear that all the time, you do not constantly actually think that a player like CGJ will go into cost-free fall like that. Like what occurred to Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf. It is excellent when you can be the beneficiary of the predicament but you really feel horrible for the player. Gardner-Johnson will come out of this just fine although, it is just a short-term blow to the ego.
I also caught a lot of flack from these who’ve been insisting that security wasn’t a will need for the Saints in this draft. My 1st profile on CGJ was written a couple of weeks soon after the Saints had reduce Kurt Coleman and we will not go into that entire fiasco. The Saints had 3 safeties on the roster, Vonn Bell, Marcus Williams and Chris Banjo with in some cases practice squad player J.T. Gray becoming listed at security or corner based on the day of the week.
Very first of all, that is not sufficient. There is not a way exactly where that is going to be sufficient. Dennis Allen is nevertheless going to want to employ the occasional 3-security set for starters and the rest of that argument is just apparent. Yes, as significantly as a lot of analysts talked themselves into the concept that the Saints had been just fine at security, that didn’t make any sense.
But you appear at the starters, Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams, are they the ideal we can place on the field? They’re okay. Above typical. They’re not going to any Pro Bowls. At what point do you feel Sean Payton is going to say that not placing the ideal we can get out on the field is a great concept? That is not a issue. If you can upgrade, you upgrade. We can cover that in additional detail later.
In Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, the Saints get a hybrid security/corner/nickelback/slot corner, what ever you want to get in touch with him. For the record, Pro Football Concentrate graded CGJ it is 49th all round ideal player in this draft. At five-foot-10 and 210-pounds, he’s not the 1st player you’d choose to be a robust coverage defender. He’s got the four.48 speed and the 36.-inch vertical to force plays although.
Coverage is precisely what you are hunting for in CGJ. He had 4 interceptions final year and only gave up 1 touchdown though he was in coverage, providing up a passer rating of 46.three. And these numbers are primarily based on what he did in 2018 below new defensive coordinator who changed up CGJ’s part in the defense. He truly had a significantly additional helpful 2017. But the new regime wanted to place him in a spot exactly where they could greater take benefit of the ball-hawking capabilities.
To get Gardner-Johnson, the Saints had to move up from choose 116 to 105. To facilitate that, a trade was produced with the Jets providing up New Orleans’ 116 and their fifth rounder at 168. If CGJ is anyplace close to becoming as great as advertised, this was 1 of the larger steals in the draft.
Whilst this is a wonderful choose for the Saints, if you are an additional player, say a security, for the Saints or a nickel corner, you may well not have been so excited when that telephone notification went off.