Beginning the Kenny Vaccaro Era
7 Posted on April 26th, 2013 by Himself
Why was Kenny Vaccaro a great pick? Think of him as a tourniquet: his purpose is to help stop the bleeding right now! Besides: he was actually the best player available.
Quick Out, April 26, 2013
My condolences. Everyone who was aboard the Barkevious Mingo bandwagon is in mourning this morning, or hung over, or probably both. But it’s not like it was going to happen, anyway: Mingo was already gone by the time the Saints’ pick came around. Mickey didn’t blow it, unless you seriously think trading up was a viable option, in which case you win a free pass to Ditka’s. (Just tell them I sent you. It’s all arranged.)
Kenny Vaccaro was a good pick. He’s a top athlete, the best of his position in this class, and fills a position of desperate need. We might have the guys we need both on the line and in the linebacking corps; or we might be able to pick up those guys—serviceable guys, at least—in later rounds. But plugging the gaping hole in the dike of last resort was something that needed to be done stat. That’s doctor talk: it means right fucking now.
And speaking of which, Part 1:
Don’t be surprised if the Saints aren’t through drafting safeties. (Hey, I was right about the first-round pick.) If someone like T.J. McDonald falls to us in, say, the fourth, Malcolm Jenkins is going to start sweating bullets. A total makeover of the secondary isn’t at all far-fetched: the Saints signed Keenan Lewis to replace Patrick Robinson; they tried to sign Nnamdi Asomugha to replace Jabari Greer; and they drafted Vaccaro to replace Roman Harper. Does anyone actually believe that everyone on the coaching staff wants to stop there? That Jenkins is safe? Two passes to Ditka’s.
And speaking of which, Part 2:
I can’t help noticing that among all this talk of “best player available,” all the draft mavens talk about how much a pick “makes sense” for a particular team, because it fills a need. So, okay, can we stop with the “best player available” crap? You pick to build a team, and they don’t give out Lombardis at Radio City Music Hall. The proper way to draft is to assess your team’s needs (such as safety), rank them in order of importance, rank the players who fill that position—and then, and only then, rank the players, cross-indexed by position, according to relative competence and relative impact. Of course, you still have to be smart. You have to understand “draft value”: i.e., will I be able to get this guy, or a reasonable substitute, at a later draft slot? Our biggest hole may be long snapper; still, you don’t take a long snapper in the first round. Hell, you don’t take one in the draft…long snapper is a free agent position.
Thus, the Chiefs choosing Fisher was a great pick because he’s a top player (in their opinion), and the Chiefs needed an elite tackle (well, technically, they don’t yet, but Branden Albert isn’t expected to play in red this next season). The Jags choosing Joeckel may have been a good pick, because even though they actually already have a left tackle, they could use another top lineman, and Joeckel certainly would not have been available later. The Chargers choosing Fluker may have been a waste, because he’s a right tackle, and their crying need was at left tackle, and they had other needs that could have been addressed instead.
And the Cowboys…how to explain the Cowboys? Apparently Jerry Jones must have sat next to Al Davis in those meetings, and Al had something catching. Did Jones actually believe Travis Frederick was the 31st best player in this year’s draft class? Well, probably not. So he must have believed offensive guard was his biggest hole, and Frederick was the best player available for that position, and he was so good that he’d be snapped up long before the Cowboys picked again…at 47, sixteen spots later. But let’s let Walter sum up:
Travis Frederick!?!? The Wisconsin lineman who was considered a third-round prospect? There were other reaches in the first round, but this takes the cake. It seems like the Cowboys panicked with all of the guards flying off the board, which is the worst thing you can ever do in the NFL Draft. It’s never been more obvious that Dallas needs a real general manager.
Exactly. Memo to Jerry: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Your passes are being held for you at Ditka’s.
Anyway: so, what’s next? Well, I still don’t see the Saints trading up, so our next pick will be late tonight, when the Saints pick Jamie Collins, or Chris Faulk, or maybe even Ryan Swope, if he’s still there. It’ll be a quiet night for Saints fans, except for the celebration afterwards.