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Saints take CB Marshon Lattimore with No. 11 pick

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The Saints entered the draft as a team still in the mix for Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. That trade feels much less likely now.

New Orleans on Thursday made Ohio State cover man Marshon Lattimore the No. 11 pick in 2017 NFL Draft. The move immediately upgrades a secondary that features cornerbacks Sterling Moore and Delvin Breaux.

"I'm amazed that he fell to (No. 11)," NFL Network's Mike Mayock said of Lattimore after the selection, calling the defender a "physical freak" and comparing him to Denver's Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib.

The pick addresses a burning need for the Saints, who have been saddled with the NFL's worst defense over the past three seasons. It also marks the second straight draft that an Ohio State cornerback was taken in the first round after Eli Apple went No. 10 to the Giants last season.

Lattimore gives the Saints an explosive corner who can press cover and descend on pass-catchers with impressive burst. Targeted 35 times last season, he notched 14 passes defensed with four picks.

"He's the best," one scout told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's got length, he's an athlete, he can bend, he can run, good ball skills, he can tackle. But he only has 12 starts. He's got enough ability to be a top-10 pick."

He went one pick later, instead, falling right into the lap of a team that no longer must chase down Butler. The Saints rebuilt secondary begins with Lattimore.

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