Friday, February 05, 2010
If you plan on being a team that is going to compete for the Super Bowl than you're going to need to build up the team by taking advantage of the best assets you are giving yearly, your 1st round draft picks. Thus let us take a look at the Saints and Colts draft picks over the past decade plus.
First and foremost, the Colts more so than any team in the league have been built through the draft. Can you name a single big name free agent that the Colts have ever signed? Didn't think so. Instead the Colts make solid picks and this obviously started in 1998 with Peyton Manning but it has continued for nearly a decade. Every 1st round pick the Colts have made since 2001 have been major contributors on this roster when healthy (Marlin Jackson and Anthony Gonzalez were both lost due to injury). The Colts dynamic pass attack was built in the first round with Peyton, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark all first round picks. Donald Brown and Joseph Addai have formed a complementary backfield that hasn't needed to be utilized much thanks to the brilliance of the passing attack. And of course last but not least the Colts took Dwight Freeney in the 1st round, he made the All-Decade team, and his health might be the difference between a W and an L this weekend.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints don't quite have the lengthy history of success that the Colts have, but their past 6 picks are significant contributors to this roster. While Darren Sharper and Jonathan Vilma might get most of the pub on the Saints defense, Will Smith has arguably been the teams best defender since he was drafted. Jammal Brown was the Saints starting Left Tackle but was lost for the entire season due to surgery on his hip and a sports hernia. Reggie Bush has obviously not reached the potential levels that people had hoped after the day he was drafted but he is one of the Saints most dynamic weapons. Robert Meachem is probably Drew Brees' #2 target leading the team with 9 receiving tds. Sedrick Ellis is a force in the middle of the defensive line. Finally, Malcolm Jenkins in his rookie season has gotten a lot of play in the secondary.