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5 Players the New Orleans Saints Will Regret Passing on in the 2012 NFL Draft

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Darren Sproles #43 and the New Orleans Saints huddle on the field against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 36-32.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Jonathan PeraltaContributor IIIMay 7, 2012

The frenzy that is known as the NFL draft has passed. Quite a hectic event. All 32 teams have selected players they think will help their organizations immediately, as well as players that have the potential to become solid contributors. Some teams hope that players they drafted in the later rounds are sleepers, diamonds in the rough, the next big thing (read: Tom Brady or Victor Cruz).

While some fans were satisfied with their team picks, other fans, not so much. But the draft is a crapshoot, it's never an exact science. There are busts, there are sleepers. We can only look at what the players did at the collegiate level and hope they can make the transition to the pro level. We're all "experts" when it comes to analyzing and thinking we know what's best for our teams, right?

So, did the Saints do a good job with their draft picks? Will these guys be solid contributors? Only time will tell. Saints fans can only hope so.

While Who Dat Nation will have to wait and see if these 2012 draft picks were good choices, let's look at other players the Saints passed on that they may regret passing on.

 

Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

Ta'amu is a behemoth. He could've paired nicely with Brodrick Bunkley and made some noise. Again, it's always hard to tell which draft picks will get results, but why pass on a monster like Ta'amu? He has the size and athleticism and can be a force, generating double-teams and creating lanes for the linebackers.

 

Ronnell Lewis, DE/OLB, Oklahoma

It's no secret the Saints needed to address their pass rush. New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's defense requires pressure from the front four and less on blitz packages.

Lewis was nicknamed "The Hammer" by his teammates in Oklahoma for his monster hits. Lewis plays with a lot of heart and intensity. He has a great frame for the linebacker position and is strong. He is explosive off the edge and has a high motor to fly to the ball carrier.

Ronnell Lewis would have been a good fit and a productive pass-rusher in Spagnuolo's system.

 

Robert Blanton, CB, Notre Dame

Aside from the Saints' pass rush, they also needed to work on their secondary.

CB Robert Blanton could've been a nice fit here. Blanton is a tall, long-armed defender. He uses his size well to disrupt off the line in press coverage, and he is a solid tackler (something the Saints' secondary had trouble with at times).

Lewis isn't the fastest, but he has starting upside. With his size and speed and some good coaching, he could have been a solid starter in the secondary.

 

DeQuan Menzie, FS/CB, Alabama

As mentioned above, secondary work was a need. Menzie is an athletic and aggressive football player.

He has good footwork and some decent recovery speed. He has the burst to make plays on the ball and is a playmaker. Menzie is another solid tackler.

He can play either cornerback or safety, and his hybrid style of play can be valuable to a Saints team that needs depth in that area.

 

James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma

Yes, the Saints have all-world tight end Jimmy Graham. But what if he goes down? That would be no bueno. He accounted for 99 receptions for 1,310 yards, 11 of those receptions going for touchdowns.  

The Saints need a backup plan just in case a disaster, like Graham going down, happens. Hanna would have been a good pick up. He has the size and speed (ran the 40-yard dash is 4.49 seconds). Hanna is athletic and has great body control. He is a good red-zone target that can make the impossible catches. Hanna would have been a good backup to Jimmy Graham.

 

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