2016 ScheduleAll times ET

2016 Schedule
7-9, 3rd in NFC South
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Round 2: Whitehair best fit for Saints at 47

Our Insiders take a look at how tonight's Round 2 should play out if every team was drafting purely for best fit. They think New Orleans should draft G Cody Whitehair, who is a technician who plays with great balance and will fit within the Saints' zone-blocking scheme. Round 2 best fits mock draft (Insider)

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Rankins will help Saints' D step up

New Orleans badly needed a player with Sheldon Rankins' skill set. According to Todd McShay, the Saints knocked this pick out of the park. Best/riskiest picks of Round 1 (Insider)

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

It sounds like the Saints and Sean Payton were disappointed to see some guard prospects go late in Round 1. "We think, I think, and I'm sure the room feels the same way, there were some good players taken there in the end of that round," said Payton, who said they naturally prefer it when they see a lot of players go that they don't have graded highly. Payton then mentioned only two of them specifically – Stanford guard Joshua Garnett and Texas A&M OL Germain Ifedi.

Thumbs up or down: Sheldon Rankins

Many expected New Orleans to target the Louisville product in Round 1, and the Saints did exactly that. Was it the right choice? Mike Triplett answers

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

When asked if Saints would have considered any offensive players in their "cloud," Sean Payton said they had to consider OT Laremy Tunsil as he kept falling. "You start projecting, ‘Alright, who's going to guard?'" Payton said. But he said the Saints "felt really confident with DT Sheldon (Rankins)." Payton said it was a "tough deal" watching what happened with Tunsil on draft night, so he was glad to see him get drafted soon after. "All the sudden for one player to have a closet door open, it's unfair," Payton said.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

New Saints DT Sheldon Rankins on the guys he studies or tries to take after: "Obviously Aaron Donald is a great guy, Geno Atkins, Gerald McCoy. My favorite guy is probably Jurrell Casey (6-1, 305-pounder for the Tennessee Titans). Similar body types, similar movement style, I think, and more of a natural comparison based off those things. I watch a lot of guys, even defensive ends, different guys like that. I'm always trying to take any tidbit from just all great players and try to apply it to my game."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sheldon Rankins on how he'll fit with Saints: "However they need me to. I don't know any specifics on what they want me to do or anything like that, but they're gonna get a hard worker, someone who's gonna come in and try to pick up the defense and try to gain the trust of the veterans, the guys that have been busting their butts in that locker room. And then we'll go from there."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

ESPN's Jon Gruden called Sheldon Rankins the best 3-technique DT in the draft. A run defender who chases down plays and a good enough pass rusher that he had 14 sacks over the last two years. Should rotate into mix with both Nick Fairley and John Jenkins right away. Both of them are free agents after the season.

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Rankins has an endless motor (0:50)

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Sheldon Rankins cleaned up at the Senior Bowl workouts. Quicks off the line, technique & power. He is going to produce for the Saints as a run defender and when rushing inside on passing downs.

ESPN Stats & Info

Bio Blast: Sheldon Rankins

The Saints opted for the Louisville defensive tackle with the 12th overall pick. Rankins totaled six sacks and 13 tackles for loss last season.

Saints take Sheldon Rankins with 12th pick

New Orleans selected Louisville DE Sheldon Rankins with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. Draft results & analysis

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

And with the No. 12 pick in the draft ... just about everyone in the country nailed their mock draft pick! It's Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins to the Saints – a versatile run defender/pass defender who can help a team that greatly needs to improve its defense against both the run and the pass.

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Kiper scouting report: Sheldon Rankins

Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down the film on New Orleans' first-round pick, Sheldon Rankins. How does the No. 12 overall pick's skill set translate to the NFL?

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Not surprising to see Saints using so much time. They were expected to try and trade down if possible.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Myles Jack a fascinating possibility for teams like Saints and rival Falcons if they trust his medicals now that he's fallen out of top 10. But other teams have passed so far.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints are now on the clock, with Clemson DE Shaq Lawson and Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins both available – two guys who would fit big needs. I expect them to consider trading down, but will they find a partner?

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

One pick away from Saints at No. 12 and my three best bets all remain possibilities (Trade down, Sheldon Rankins, Shaq Lawson). Also wonder if Myles Jack could be in play now that he has fallen.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

We could see a run on defense over next 3 picks, which wouldn't be ideal for Saints at No. 12. OT Laremy Tunsil's fall would be a disappointment since OT isn't a top need for them.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Touching – and true – sentiment from Saints GM Mickey Loomis in his pre-draft press conference: "If we can draft players that have the impact that Will Smith and Hokie Gajan have had on this organization and this community, then we've had a good weekend."

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

My best bets for the Saints at No. 12: 1. Trade down 2. Sheldon Rankins 3. Shaq Lawson There's a good chance they'll take a QB at some point, but I don't expect it in Round 1.

Team Stats

Passing Yards310.61st
Rushing Yards93.224th
Points For25.58th
Points Against29.832nd

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