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Saints Select Cesar Ruiz With No. 24 Pick in NFL Draft

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The Saints selected OL Cesar Ruiz with the 24th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruiz was raised in New Jersey and went to school at Camden High School for two years. He transferred to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida after his sophomore season with the Bulldogs.

IMG Academy is widely recognized as one of the top high school football programs in the nation. Ruiz was a 2017 Under Armour All-American as a senior with the Ascenders. He chose Michigan over a host of offers from top schools like Auburn, LSU and Florida.

Ruiz started all 13 games at center during his final two seasons in Michigan. He entered the 2020 NFL Draft as one of the top interior offensive lineman prospects. Ruiz is athletic and tenacious with a combination of skills and technique to fit into a variety of blocking schemes at the next level. Ruiz wins early with initial quickness and displays fast hands at first contact.

He works to convert early advantages into wins. Ruiz is consistent in securing down-blocks and has the athletic traits to become a second-level factor. He does give some ground to power rushers and needs help against wide-bodies, but the tape checks out. Ruiz has early starting potential and should develop into a good pro with guard/center flexibility.

Here’s why SI’s Kevin Hanson ranked Ruiz as the No. 42 overall player on his big board:

With the versatility to start anywhere along the interior offensive line, Ruiz started the past two seasons at center to go along with five starts at right guard as a true freshman in 2017. Technically sound with active hands and quick feet, Ruiz is my top-ranked interior offensive lineman.

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