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USA Today draft grades put pressure on Saints LT Trevor Penning

The New Orleans Saints 2023 NFL draft class has been given a lot of mixed reviews. USA Today’s Nate Davis is on the more negative end of the spectrum, citing a move that they made last year as a factor in his C+ grade of their haul:

A little meat and potatoes, which is fine given the arrival of QB Derek Carr – and fun that he gets to mentor fellow former Fresno State passer Jake Haener (Round 4). New Orleans got deeper with first-round DT Bryan Bresee, second-round DE Isaiah Foskey and RB Kendre Miller, who’s additional Alvin Kamara insurance. Bresee lands here as part of the Sean Payton “trade,” although 2022 Round 1 OT Trevor Penning needs to make last year’s trade with the Eagles, which cost New Orleans a top-10 pick, pay off.

While a top-ten pick in the draft could have been nice for the Saints, it could be seen as unfair to grade a draft based off of a pick they didn’t have. It would be more appropriate to apply it to the grade from the year before, as it was moved in last year’s draft.

For certain, though, Penning’s career will always be looked at through the lens of that trade and especially so if he doesn’t work out. He needs to get healthy, win the starting job at left tackle from James Hurst, and prove his level of play was worth the cost to acquire him.


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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire