Top 25 Saints of 2020: No. 18, Cesar Ruiz
We're a little less than eight weeks away from the start of the NFL season, and things seem to be progressing between the league and NFLPA. It might be one of those 'believe it when we see it' things, but training camp is right around the corner. The New Orleans Saints have one of the best top-to-bottom rosters in the league, and each of their players on the roster will be instrumental in the team's successes or failures. We keep looking at our countdown of the Top 25, and recap where we are thus far.
- No. 25, Latavius Murray
- No. 24, Taysom Hill
- No. 23, C.J. Gardner-Johnson
- No. 22, Malcom Brown
- No. 21, Marcus Williams
- No. 20, Deonte Harris
- No. 19, Andrus Peat
No. 18 - Cesar Ruiz
The Saints shocked a lot of people when they used their 24th overall pick to take Michigan offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz. Many believed a wide receiver or linebacker would be the choice, but that wasn't the case. At the time, Sean Payton made it clear that the team didn't draft him to be on the bench, and that he was expected to push veteran Larry Warford for the starting job. Warford eventually was released, saving the Saints some money in the process, and then the focus clearly shifted to Ruiz.
Ruiz's Outlook in 2020
With the team moving on from Warford, who is still a free agent currently, Ruiz has a lot to live up to as a rookie. The hope is to be what Erik McCoy was last season. Ruiz has a great supporting cast alongside him in Ryan Ramczyk if he does become the right guard. Ruiz is also confident that he can play anywhere on the interior offensive line. New Orleans has one of the best offensive lines in the league, and Ruiz has the intelligence and skill to come in and make a strong impact from the jump.
Michigan's offensive line coach Ed Warriner spoke very highly of Ruiz in late April.
"There's really nothing he can't do that they're looking for him to do. He has good power and strength. He has really good hands. He has good vision of what's going on in front of him."
Warriner added that he only found a couple mistakes in his time with the Wolverines, and that Ruiz is the type of player that if you give him 50 questions for a game, he'll get 49 of them right - a 99 percent accuracy. That type of play is what we're looking forward to for Ruiz's first season in New Orleans.