Cornerback was a significant need coming into the draft for the Saints and they came away with a big one. In Stanley Jean-Baptiste the Saints now have a 6’3″ corner that will be able to compete with some of the new wave of huge receivers taking the league by storm. Jean-Baptiste is a receiver himself originally but he made the switch to corner during his time in college. Kony Ealy and Morgan Moses were value picks I perhaps liked a little better, but with the way the draft was going for Tampa and Carolina (drafting tall receivers) I think the reactionary move was a good one that fit a need anyway.
His write up on NFL.com is as follows:
Outstanding size and length to mix it up with bigger receivers. Good balance and body control. Jumps routes. Has good hands to intercept and can highpoint throws. Flashes functional strength to reroute receivers, discard blocks and tackle ball carriers. Very productive on the ball in limited time as a starter — 21 pass PBUs and 6 INTs in 17 starts at Nebraska. Works to get better and made strides as a senior.
Stiff hips. Is not a quick-twitch athlete and struggles to mirror sudden receivers. Lacks elite top-end speed (long-strider). Green positional instincts. Picks and chooses his spots to be physical — inconsistent run defender. Has tweener traits. Football aptitude is lacking — could struggle to grasp and execute complex assignments. Will be a 24-year-old rookie.
A receiver-turned-cornerback in a safety’s body, Jean-Baptiste looks the part and has intriguing ball skills, strength and upside, though he lacks elite athletic ability, is smoother than he is sudden and does not consistently play to his size. Workout numbers will dictate his ultimate role and draft value, but on tape shows skills to warrant developmental consideration from teams employing press or Cover 2.
With these two major need areas filled I think the Saints still need to add two offensive linemen and an outside linebacker in the draft, and I’ll feel good about the depth and competition on the roster.