Opting to repair an offensive line that was steamrolled by the weak pass rush of the Atlanta Falcons late in the season, The Saints used their first selection at #13 to add OT Andrus Peat from Stanford. With their second pick of the first round, which they acquired from the Seahawks in the Jimmy Graham trade, they bolstered their defense.
The Saints, who signed CJ Spiller earlier this offseason, added Clemson LB Stephone Anthony to the core of their defense with the #31 pick.
Anthony will have a good opportunity to contribute early:
"Anthony likely will play inside linebacker in the Saints' 3-4 scheme; at the least, he'll provide depth behind veterans David Hawthorne, Dannell Ellerbe and Ramon Humber, and he could push to start right off the bat."
#Saints Sean Payton on stephone Anthony. Most suited to play mike but could play either inside position. One of a few ILBs they liked.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) May 1, 2015
There were reports that the Green Bay Packers were interested in Stephone Anthony at pick #30, so when they instead took DB Damarious Randall from Arizona State, it appeared that Anthony would slip into the second round. Fortunately, Coach Swinney's draft advice to juniors (only leave early if you're a sure-fire early first rounder) proved wise. Like Vic Beasley, Anthony benefited from coming back for his senior season. Both players likely improved their draft stock by at least a full round.
The draft resumes today (Friday) for rounds 2 and 3, and we'll be listening for Grady Jarrett's name.