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Touchdown Wire grades the Saints’ rookie class best in the NFC South

It’s been quite some time since thee New Orleans Saints had an NFL draft class as universally approved as their 2024 haul, but rave reviews keep pouring in.

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar handed out draft grades for all 32 teams once the final pick came in on Saturday night. And it’s the New Orleans Saints sitting on top of the NFC South, with an A-minus. Here’s why Farrar is so high on their selections:

We always love drafts in which prospects go later than we think they should, and the Saints have three guys who fit that bill. Kool-Aid McKinstry gives Dennis Allen and his staff all kinds of options with Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo. And there is no way Spencer Rattler should have lasted until the fifth round. Ignoring the fact that Rattler was good behind the NCAA’s worst offensive line, and with one functional receiver in Xavier Legette, and overcooking Rattler’s maturity issues from half a decade ago, proves that sometimes, football guys don’t know football.

I also love the addition of Bub Means as a speed receiver. Each of those guys should have gone a round earlier than they did, and in Rattler’s case, you can double or triple that.

As to the first overall pick, Taliese Fuaga is an ideal ass-kicking tackle who will start right away. Ryan Ramczyk might miss the entire 2024 season due to injury, and Trevor Penning is… well, Trevor Penning.

We’re guessing the slight trade up to get McKinstry (swapping two late-round picks to move up four slots in Round 2) kept the Saints from getting a clean A or A-plus. But as for the rest of the division? Farrar graded the Carolina Panthers with a solid B for adequately surrounding Bryce Young with better weapons, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were slightly behind with a B-minus after spending their top pick on a center.

And the Falcons, well. They were graded worst in the NFC South with a D after wasting their first pick on a backup quarterback and using their next selection to trade up for a project defensive tackle. Let’s just say former Saints executive and current Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot is doing a lot to help his old team.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire