New Orleans Saints Rookie Report Card
The New Orleans Saints made just four draft selections during the 2020 NFL Draft and of those four only former Mississippi State QB Tommy Stevens was cut.
So, you had OL Cesar Ruiz, TE Adam Trautman, and LB Zach Baun. Out of those three rookies really only Ruiz played a lot of meaningful snap but Trautman did show up sparingly with some plays here and there.
Now that the 2020 regular season has come to a close let's take a look back and examine how each of these young men performed in their freshman campaigns as professionals.
As mentioned, Ruiz got the most playing time out of the three rookies which make sense as he was the Saints first-round draft pick out of Michigan. The former Wolverine played in 14 of the possible 16 games accumulating 744 snaps according to Pro Football Focus in which he didn't allow a sack, and committed just one penalty all season. He played all of his snaps at right guard after some believed that he would take over at center for Erik McCoy. His PFF grades weren't great for his first season however as he finished with a 58.6 overall grade, a pass-blocking grade of 43.4, and where he excelled most was in his run-blocking where he graded out at a 61.6. All in all a pretty solid first season for Ruiz with the hope that he'll continue to grow coming into year two and really take over that right guard position.
The third-round selection got the second most run out of any Saints rookie but with Jared Cook, in front of him at tight end, you weren't expecting a whole lot from him in 2020. Rookie tight ends don't normally have an immediate impact on an NFL offense but you could clearly see that this kid has the talent and will be a big part of this offense sooner rather than later. He played in 15 games this season compiling 15 catches on 16 targets (good efficiency) for 171 yards and a touchdown. His best game came when New Orleans destroyed Tampa Bay in week nine as he collected three catches for 38 yards and his lone touchdown. According to PFF, he finished the year with a good-looking 79.2 grade overall, a 65 receiving grade, and a 62.5 pass-blocking grade.
This young linebacker wasn't asked to do too much in year one as the team employs a strong linebacker group so he got a chance to work while he waits for his opportunity. However, the former Wisconsin Badger played 82 snaps, totaled five solo tackles, four stops, and didn't force any turnovers. According to PFF, he wrapped things up with an overall grade of 62, his rush defense and pass rush struggled in limited action at 52.4 and 53.7 respectively, but his best attribute was his coverage skills as he received a 76.8 grade. As he continues to grow as a player he should begin to see more snaps in the near future.
New Orleans Saints Players With Memorable Nicknames