The New Orleans Saints have selected former Michigan Wolverines interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz in the first round with the 24th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruiz comes off the board as the first player from Michigan selected in the event.
Ruiz, who was a four-star prospect and the nation’s top center coming out of high school in the 2017 class, appeared in 36 games in Ann Arbor and made 31 starts (26 at center, five at right guard). He entered the draft after his junior season and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and Pro Football Focus had him graded as the best pass-blocking center in the nation last year.
Overview (full scouting report here):
Ruiz, who played in 36 career games at Michigan with 31 starts, possesses the combination of power and athletic traits mixed with positional versatility to be a high-floor starter in the NFL. His skill-set does not feel scheme-dependent and his ability to move and be a problem at the second level of a defense makes him a standout in this draft class and it would be somewhat surprising at this point if he did not hear his name called on night one. Ruiz is polished and experienced and should find himself anchoring an NFL offensive line for years to come with the ability to slide over to guard if need be.
The 2020 NFL Draft takes place all weekend with the first round on Thursday (8 p.m. ET), second and third rounds on Friday (7 p.m. ET) and fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday (12 p.m. ET).