NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Drew Brees gained some more protection on his offensive line after the Saints drafted Cesar Ruiz in the first-round.
Thursday night, Sean Payton made it known Ruiz could play right away.
“We weren’t drafting someone that high to come in and be a backup,” said Payton.
On Friday, No. 9 welcomed Ruiz to the squad with a video message.
"Hey bro, welcome to the squad. Heard a lot about you, I love your journey man. Love your work ethic. I love smart, gritty tough guys. That sounds like what you are. Heard a lot about you from Sean Payton. Welcome to the squad man. Can’t wait for you to be a part of it. These are crazy times, but keep working, keep your mind right. Let me know if I can do anything for you. Can’t wait to start working with you. You’re in good hands, tell your family that. We have a great locker, great team. You’re going to be a big part of it, thanks brother.
Ruiz is 6’3”, weighing in at 307 pounds. He brings versatility to the Saints. He made 31 collegiate starts, 26 at center and five at right guard.
In 36 games, 31 starts at center and right guard, Ruiz was not called for a single holding call. The Wolverine allowed only 10 quarterback pressures all season, according to Pro Football Focus. He earned a career 84.7 pass blocking grade in the last 3 seasons at Michigan.