If there are any Tulane fans out there, please sign this online petition I have created to make sure the university is allowed to build the new proposed Tulane Stadium! This has been fully endorsed by the university itself!
The New Orleans Saints added 23 new players to their roster over the past few days, both drafted and undrafted. And like most professional athletes, many of them are easily accessible on Twitter. But it can be hard to keep up with or find every single one.
No worries, though, because I’ve done all the legwork myself. For those interested, the Twitter handles that I could dig up of each new player are in a juicy, linkable format below.
When you start following these guys, be sure to send them a message and tell them Canal Street Chronicles sent you. Or shoot them a link to this article. It might seem insignificant but If we get enough guys to do that and present a united front, I’m certain the players will take notice, which will in turn go a long way in helping us here at CSC build a relationship with each of them, maybe even land an interview or two.
So make the jump for a full list of all the newest team members and how you can connect with them on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing. Anyone with info on the unknown accounts, please let me know in the comment section below.
Oh, by the way…your welcome!
|Malcolm Beyah||WR||Middle Tenn State||@mj_beyah|
|Travaris Cadet||RB||Appalachian State|
|Adrian Davis||DB||Jacksonville State||Unknown|
|Chris Givens||WR||Miami (OH)|
|Laron Scott||RS||Georgia Southern|
|Aderious Simmons||OT||Arizona State||Unknown|
|Aaron Tevis||LB||Boise State||Unknown|
|Johnny Thomas||S||Oklahoma State|
The New Orleans Saints have just completed their seventh NFL Draft in the Mickey Loomis/Sean Payton era. The embattled duo have found some cornerstones of the franchise in the draft, and we’re not talking top 15 picks either. Mickey Loomis has taken chances in later rounds on raw talent and potential that has blossomed into impact beyond even the highest expectations of Who Dat Nation.
Coach Sean Payton has been able to get a lot out of many prospects who little was expected, while injuries have taken away the potential that might have been from others. Although Payton has been banished from the NFL until Lombardi Gras II: The Last Laugh, it’s to be expected that he had input on his favored prospects during his “getting his affairs in order” period.
Since 2006 the Saints have had their share of misses (Who?) and quite a few hits (Who Dat!). What does 2012 have in store? Let’s take a look back at the first six “PayLoo” drafts and what they may tell us about the future.
2006 Draft (5-3)
Round 2 – Roman Harper S Who Dat!
-Can’t cover his own head with a paper bag but can lay down some hits
-Five season starter at strong safety
Round 4 – Jahri Evans G Who Dat!
-Simply outstanding, perennial all-pro guard
-Six season starter at guard
Round 6 – Mike Hass WR Who?
-Released before regular season started
Round 6 – Josh Lay CB Who?
-Released before regular season started
Round 7 – Zach Strief T Who Dat!
-Longtime backup tackle / eligible receiver
-Starting tackle in 2011, will compete with Charles Brown for spot in 2012
Round 3 – Andy Alleman G Who?
-Cut after one season, never played for Saints
Round 4 – Jermon Bushrod T Who Dat!
-Although he’s the “weak link” of the offensive line, good value for a late fourth rounder from a small university
-Three season starter at tackle
Round 5 – David Jones CB Who?
-Released before season started
2008 Draft (2-4)
Round 1 – Sedrick Ellis DT Who?
-Far too little an impact for the 7th overall pick in the draft
-Four season starter at defensive tackle
Round 5 – DeMario Pressley DT Who?
-Served as a backup for two seasons with Saints and was thoroughly underwhelming
Round 6 – Taylor Mehlhaff K Who?
-Released before regular season started, Loomis shanked this one
Round 7 – Adrian Arrington WR Who?
-Let’s be honest about this one folks, no late round gem here. AA is not the guy many hope he is
2009 Draft (2-2)
Round 1 – Malcolm Jenkins CB/S Who Dat!
-Although he has been wildly inconsistent he has all of the tools for success under Spagnuolo
-Two season starter at free safety
Round 4 – Chip Vaughn S Who?
-Got hurt, collected a ring, got cut, the end
Round 5 – Thomas Morstead P Who Dat!
-One of the NFL’s best punters
-Three season starter as Punter/KOS
-Can execute one hell of an onside kick!
2010 Draft (4-2)
Round 1 – Patrick Robinson CB Who Dat!
-Primarily a nickelback in his first season, he made significant strides in year 2
-Projected starter at cornerback in 2012
Round 2 – Charles Brown T Who Dat!
-The jury’s still out on this one
-Needs to beat out veteran Zach Strief for the starting tackle position to justify a second round pick
Round 5 – Matt Tennant C Who Dat!
-The jury’s still out on this one
-Needs to beat out Brian De La Puente for starting Center position or at least not miss a beat when he sees action
Round 7 – Sean Canfield QB Who?
-Usually the first guy released when the Saints need roster space
-Currently Saints practice squad quarterback
2011 Draft (3-3)
Round 1 – Cameron Jordan DE Who Dat!
-The jury’s still out on this one
-He needs to have a serious impact in 2012 under Spagnuolo to justify the first round pick, he’ll be looking like a future Who? otherwise
-Projected starting defensive end in 2012
Round 1 – Mark Ingram RB Who Dat!
-Suffered toe injury in his first season, hopefully he is less injury prone than the last Heisman winning first round pick by the Saints
-Will continue splitting carries with Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Darren Sproles
-He had impact when he got carries but the 3 to 4 back system the Saints use makes it difficult to get a rhythm going
Round 3 – Martez Wilson LB Who?
-The jury is out on Wilson, tentatively
-He served as a backup in his first season and will need to have more of an impact in 2012
-He will need to compete with the new free agent linebackers for a starting spot which may prove difficult
Round 3 – Johnny Patrick CB Who Dat!
-Jury’s out, we’ll get more of a sample size in 2012
-Patrick didn’t see a lot of action in year 1, but didn’t look too in over his head out there
-He will need to solidify his role as top nickleback
Round 7 – Greg Romeus DE Who?
-Missed entire first season due to lower back and ACL injuries suffered in college
-*If healthy*, Romeus can go “beast mode” on the opposition and will become a classic Loomis late round gem
-These injuries will just be too much to overcome though and will likely rob him of a great NFL career
Round 7 – Nate Bussey LB Who?
-Waived before start of regular season
-Currently Saints practice squad linebacker
Well here we are, the 2012 Draft
Round 3 – Akiem Hicks DT
Initial reaction – Future Who?
-Physically Hicks seems to have the tools for success but I worry he will not be up to the challenge of NFL competition
-The Saints track record on defensive linemen has been poor at best
Round 4 – Nick Toon WR
Initial reaction – Future Who Dat!
-Toon has the skill set to be productive in this offense, a precise route-runner with a strong build and good hands. Welcome to New Orleans, Nick!
Round 5 – Corey White S
Initial reaction – Future Who?
-Although White looks talented on paper, he reeks of a backup/special teamer to me. Hey, at least be a good one!
Round 6 – Andrew Tiller G
Initial reaction – Future Who?
-BIG dude, 6’2, 324, and well… yeah he’s big. Not much space on this offensive line for him, Saints are solid at guard
Round 7 – Marcel Jones T
Initial reaction – Future Who?
-More size here, 6’6, 322, he has a shot at a backup tackle spot but that’s about it
In my estimation, the Loomis/Payton era drafts have given the Saints 18 Who Dats! to 19 Who’s?. That’s not a bad ratio considering the far more miss than hit reality of the NFL draft process. PayLoo has given Saints fans reason to believe in their evaluations over the years, but I think we will look back at the 2012 Saints draft as the weakest during this era. Hey, stranger things have happened though. The draft has always been the most inexact of sciences.
@drewbrees We’ve all gone 2 wrong gate at airport be4, but anyone actually get to tic counter & have buzzer go off saying wrong flight? Yep, that’s me
@TheJimmyGraham Great being back at work today with the guys…looking forward to meeting all the new rookies
@moosedeniedArnie Fielkow > Joe Hummel
@moosedeniedJoe Hummel > Ken Starr
@j_bushrod7475The grind is over for the day!! Lunch time… U already know where I’m at!!! Lol
@D_Hawthorne57Its official…I will be rockin #57 after the Great Rickey Jackson..Its a honor to put on for the city in that number! Lets get it…
@LanceMoore16Happy Monday everybody. Hope it’s a great one!
@sharper42How bout barack shouting out young jeezy.This man put the K in kool!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-7Zc1p_Rew&feature=youtube_gdata_player
@MartezWilson95Thot 4 2day: You can’t just wish for change to happen, you have to live the change in order for it to become a reality ~Steve Maraboli
@robyslyfeGood morning/afternoon world..put in a nice hard mornings work in the weight room & on the field..I got better today, did you?!
@JohnnyPatrick32Love coming in with the team….
@JohnnyPatrick32Makes my days so much better…
New Orleans Saints rookie free agents, bios – New Orleans Saints Football NFL News – NOLA.com
Saints will bring 18 free agents to the rookie camp
NFL bounty investigator Joe Hummel plans to resign from league in June – New Orleans Saints Football NFL News – NOLA.com
“The company held the position open for him so that he could complete his work on the Saints matter,” Aiello said. “It is a big career opportunity for Joe (who is a former FBI agent) and has no bearing whatsoever on the Saints matter.”
NFL bounty investigator to eventually leave for new security job at major company | wwltv.com New Orleans
One of the men charged with investigating the Saints bounty scandal has tendered his resignation to accept a senior security position at a large company.
Head investigator of New Orleans Saints “Bounty” scandal resigns
Head investigator of New Orleans Saints “Bounty” scandal resigns.
Saints look towards undrafted free agents to plug holes at cornerback
The New Orleans Saints have completed their 2012 NFL draft, and in typical fashion chose to take who they considered the best player available regardless of overall need currently on the roster.
Head of Saints bounty probe submits resignation letter | ProFootballTalk
As the football-following world continues to wait for the league office to levy discipline against the Saints players involved in the three-year bounty system, the story that has had more than a few twists and turns now has yet another.
New Orleans Saints quick to sign undrafted free agents – New Orleans Saints Football NFL News – NOLA.com
Former Destrehan player was in the group
Given the Saints penchant for finding talent in undrafted free agency, I’d say there is a good chance one of these guys will not only make the team but also contribute significantly. So start getting familiar.
A full list of players can be found after the jump.
Kadarron Anderson LB Furman
Malcolm Beyah WR Middle Tenn State
Braylon Broughton DE TCU
Jacob Byrne TE Wisconsin
Travaris Cadet RB Appalachian State
Adrian Davis DB Jacksonville State
Brian Folkerts C Washburn
Chris Givens WR Miami (OH)
Jose Gumbs S Monmouth
Kevin Hardy WR Citadel
Dan Hoch OT Missouri
Stephen Johnson LB Temple
Jerico Nelson S Arkansas
Laron Scott RS Georgia Southern
Aderious Simmons OT Arizona State
Aaron Tevis LB Boise State
Johnny Thomas S Oklahoma State
Tyrunn Walker DE/DT Tulsa
Earlier today we examined most of the 2012 NFL Draft grades given out by the “experts” and mainstream media. But there was one grade I deliberately withheld because it was so bad, I felt it was deserving of it’s own post.
So what did he give the Saints for their 2012 draft?
A big, fat F. That’s right, while most analysts were harsh with their Saints draft grades this year, Prisco was harsher. He thinks the Saints flat out flunked.
Here’s Prisco’s analysis:
Best pick: Fourth-round receiver Nick Toon was a productive player at Wisconsin. He should be able to compete for a No. 4 job, which is a spot that sees the field for the Saints.
Questionable move: Bounty-gate. That caused them to get stripped of a key second-round pick.
Third-day gem: Guard Andrew Tiller, a sixth-round pick, plays with a nasty streak that fits the Saints’ line. They put great emphasis on their guards with a small quarterback.
Analysis: It has been a tough four months for the Saints. This draft didn’t do much to help them. They were without a first-round pick because of a bad trade for Mark Ingram last year. They lost their second in the scandal and then used the third on a defensive tackle from Canada. The beat goes on in New Orleans and it isn’t a good one.
Ouch! That stings, Pete. It really, really stings. How could you?
Hey, I know that on paper the Saints don’t look so hot with this draft class. But an F? Really? I did a little research and in the last five years, Prisco hasn’t awarded a draft grade of F to any other NFL team except the Broncos in 2010, when they gave up second, third and fourth round picks to move up and take Tim Tebow. Surely the Saints didn’t look that stupid this weekend.
Because lets face it, if he really didn’t like the way the Saints handled this year’s draft he could have just given them a D-. We would have still gotten the point. But Pete really wanted to stick it to the post-Bountygate Saints this time around. After all, they deserve it right?
At this point, I am just going to assume Prisco let his Saints hate get away from him a little too much when he put these grades together and is doing this on purpose purely to get a rise out of Saints fans. So I’m not going to stoop to his level and get angry here or start throwing out insults. I will let everyone who comments on this post to do that. Have at it, Saints fans.
2012 NFL Draft grades are in and for the Saints, it ain’t pretty. Non of the “experts” gave the team a grade higher than a C this year – a stark contrast from their opinion of last year’s draft class – even though the players have not yet signed contracts and aren’t even close to setting foot on the practice field, much less seeing real game action.
Make the jump to see the New Orleans Saints full draft results and how each of the major media outlets graded the team’s 2012 draft. Then vote in our poll and put your own grade on the Saints draft performance.
Saints 2012 NFL Draft Class
Saints 2012 Draft Grades
Saints Draft Grade
New Orleans did not have much to work with this year. They traded their first-round pick to get Mark Ingram last year. They paid for their seconnd-round pick in bounties. Nick Toon, a wide receiver from Wisconsin, is a natural replacement for Robert Meachem.
Was Akiem Hicks a better choice with their third-round pick than Brandon Thompson? They needed a defensive tackle.
|The Saints traded away their first-round pick in a deal that landed them Mark Ingram in last year’s draft, and the second-round pick had to be forfeited. So they knew they wouldn’t be getting much impact. Akiem Hicks is a player I actually projected to New Orleans in my three-round mock, and he’s got some upside. He had the talent to go to LSU, but ended up in Canada. He’s been good, but is a tricky profile because of the lack of competition.Nick Toon can catch but he won’t separate (we said the same about Marques Colston, on the positive side). Corey White was a reach on my board. Hopefully Hicks is a great sleeper, but no pass-rusher, no cornerback and no linebacker help in this draft.|
|It’s hard to do much without a pick in Round 1 or 2 … and the Saints didn’t do much. The keys will be DT Akiem Hicks’ (89) transition from Canadian college ball to the NFL and WR Nick Toon’s (122) ability to stay healthy. No one after that is a sure-bet to make the roster.|
Key picks: DE Akiem Hicks, WR Nick Toon.
They were hampered by the picks lost in the bounty scandal and ended up with mainly projects.
|Well, “Bountygate” robbed them of a second-round pick and running back Mark Ingram cost them their first-round pick. When they finally made a choice, they took defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, who busted out of LSU and ended up playing in Regina, Canada. Hicks is from Sacramento, Calif., but he supposedly has tight ankles, according to Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. … Syracuse guard Andrew Tiller is a space-eater in the mold of the departed Carl Nicks, while Al Toon’s son, Nick Toon, is another big-body receiver, similar to Marques Colston. … Nebraska tackle Marcel Jones is a mammoth man who will have to watch his weight.|
* * *
HansDat’s Take: The New Orleans Saints were pretty hamstrung in this year’s draft, due to the lack of actual selections and the absence of head coach Sean Payton. Not choosing until the third round put the Saints in the position of drafting for depth/special teams and taking chances on players who might pan out in a big way, or could also be shown the door before the end of pre-season. I found myself saying after each pick in this draft, “Who? Sure! Why not?” And that’s why my ridiculously early grade for the 2012 draft class is a Sure, why not? letter grade of C.
OK, friends and neighbors. You may remember my first CSC True Hollywood Story from January, in which I regaled you with the ribald tale of how my parents saw/met Joe Horn hawking his BBQ sauce at their neighborhood grocery store one Saturday in December.
Well, things just got interesting again, because this time, my star-crossed parents met the voice of the Saints and former WWL-TV sports director Jim Henderson at the Flora-Bama Lounge, Package, and Oyster Bar (unofficial motto: “Come do it with us on the line!”) in Pensacola, Florida on Monday!!
Make the jump for the full story, as only I can tell it (from a combo of emails, texts and an extensive phone interview with my parents and my Aunt Ann via speakerphone as they drove back from a New Orleans dinner with my Uncle Jimmy [my Dad's brother] and Aunt Betsy on Wednesday night).
To set the stage, it’s last Monday evening (April 23) at about 6:15 or so, and as I’m walking to my car from work, I switched my phone off silent, and checked for text messages. Usually there’s nothing there, but sometimes the light is flashing, and I just assumed that Mrs. Hans had sent me a text or two in response to one or two I may have sent her during my lunch break. Boy was I wrong.
My Dad’s icon and cell # appear in the text window, and when I open the message, it reads:
Check it email.
I can almost hear him mutter, “$%&* auto-correct!!” as he sent it. So I texted back to tell him that I was just leaving work and would check it once I got home. “Hmm,” I think to myself, “What is this about?”
I get home, open my inbox, and see an email from my Dad addressed to both my sister and myself with the subject line of, “Look !!!”
In the email is the above photo, with this accompanying caption:
You can meet just about anybody at the Flora Bama
Sent from my iPhone
I immediately wrote him back…
There is a God!!! Pigs have flown, hell has frozen over…Bob met Jim Henderson @ the Flora-Bama!!! Pretty cool, Dad!! Did you talk to him much, or just get the picture?
And I’d love to write about this for CSC this weekend and post the picture and story, with your permission, kind sir.
HaHa that’s great!
and he replied:
Yes, write away. Told him about your connection with CSC. He said he reads it. Jim was as cordial as u would expect.. Spent awhile speaking with he and his wife( Stump)..she said if your Mom could be called Weese then she could be Stump.
After he and his friends sat a few bar stools away, he sent me a free drink .
Call for more details before writing CSC.
* * *
So, we connect a couple of days later by phone, and I came to find out that on Monday my Mom and Dad decided to take a romantic walk up the beach from their condo to get a beer at the Flora-Bama, as it had finally moved beyond the post-Hurricane Ivan “trailers and portables” architectural style to more permanent structures. They had been wanting to check it out since they saw the GRAND OPENING signs in the midst of “Spring Break 2012!!!” fever, and now with the crowds noticeably lessened in the post-Spring Break, it was go time.
It was about 4:00 in the afternoon when they were there, bellied up to the bar, and they saw two couples enter. My Mom said, “That might be Jim Henderson, Robert.” My Dad says back to her, “It IS him.” And then he yells across the bar, “Hey Jim!!”
That’s my Dad, on a first name basis with all the Big Shots (when I was in high school, we took a family vacation to California, and when driving through Carmel when Clint Eastwood was mayor, he rolled down the window and shouted, “Hey, Clint!!” at the top of his lungs at the pedestrians, even though Clint was nowhere in sight…).
I guess Jim is used to this, because he came down and chatted with them for a good bit of time, very pleasant, congenial and nice, just like he seemed on TV. My folks live in Covington and are recently retired, and since Jim lives in nearby Mandeville and is also recently retired, they had much to talk about.
Jim and his wife were there with some friends from New York, staying in a place on Perdido Key. Jim introduced his wife to my folks. Apparently she’s on the short side and her nickname is “Stump.” After hearing my Mom’s name, she said, “Well, if she can be Weese, then I can be ‘Stump’.” Ha! How fun is that?
My Dad told him about me writing for CSC (quite possibly embellishing it just a bit to make me seem like the CEO and brainchild of it all), and Jim said that he actually reads CSC!! Ha! How fun is that?
They also talked to him about how much they liked him when he took over for Hap and did so well, and how much we, as a family, enjoyed watching him do the sports on WWL, and then listening to him call the games on the radio starting in the mid-80s, inspiring a young HansDat to consider/dream of some kind of a future in sports media (and here I am now, LIVING THE DREAM, people). Ha! How fun is that?
So they lined up and took the picture using my Dad’s phone, and then went their separate ways, with Jim and crew settled in at the other end of the bar, and my Mom and Dad staying put while my Dad sent the picture out to my sister and myself, as well as his best friend from childhood, Fenner, who also has a condo on the Florida gulf shores, and who has been a Saints season ticket holder since the very beginning in 1967. Ha! How fun is that?
A few minutes later, the server comes up to my Dad and asks what he’s drinking. My Dad tells her, and then asks her why. She pointed to Jim Henderson and said, “He wants to buy you a drink.” So my Dad got to have just ‘nother beer on Jim, gave him a big wave and a smile when it came, and Jim waved and smiled back at him. Ha! How fun is that?
And a few minutes after that, Fenner (remember him?), who had received the email on his phone, called to ask my Dad where he is. My Dad tells Fenner that they’re at the Flora-Bama, and Fenner says, “I’ll be there in five minutes.” And sure enough, in about five minutes, in walk Fenner and his wife Nancy, who immediately approach Jim Henderson and begin chatting him up like old pals. Fenner is a super nice guy who has never met a stranger in his life. He and my Dad go really well together, and I think that may be where my “niceness” comes from, both nature- and nurture-wise.
* * *
That’s it for this story, I hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to tune in next time, after my Mom and Dad run into Sean Payton at the Time Saver getting an ICEE and a Hubig’s pie (really, this could really happen!!).
Mel Kiper has made his living on ESPN this past year predicting where all the 2012 NFL Draft prospects would wind up and now that they’ve all found homes, Kiper has graded how each team did. The Saints, according to Kiper, didn’t do so hot this year. He gave them a C-.
Here is the scale Kiper uses to give out his incredibly premature draft grades:
Grading Scale: In my mind an “A” means it’s exceptional; a “B” means it’s very good; a “C” means average, with hits and misses; a “D” means it’s below average with some big questions. An “F” … well, I didn’t have one this year.
Make the jump to find out Mel’s reasoning for giving the Saints their C- grade.
Top needs: DE, CB, DT, OLB, WR
Summary: The Saints traded away their first-round pick in a deal that landed them Mark Ingram in last year’s draft, and the second-round pick had to be forfeited. So they knew they wouldn’t be getting much impact. Akiem Hicks is a player I actually projected to New Orleans in my three-round mock, and he’s got some upside. He had the talent to go to LSU, but ended up in Canada. He’s been good, but is a tricky profile because of the lack of competition.Nick Toon can catch but he won’t separate (we said the same about Marques Colston, on the positive side). Corey White was a reach on my board. Hopefully Hicks is a great sleeper, but no pass-rusher, no cornerback and no linebacker help in this draft.
So…what do you guys think? Was this a less-than-mediocre draft for the Saints as Kiper believes?
With the 2012 NFL Draft now finished, following a Day 3 afternoon full of fast-paced player selection, the morning after seems an appropriate time to drop in with a special 2012 Draft Edition of Who Dat Say!?! to bring you the early analysis, recapping, and concluding press conferences to make your Sunday Brunch complete.
Meet the New Saints
Saints Select DT Akiem Hicks With the 89th Pick in the NFL Draft | neworleanssaints.com
Hicks Started 16 games at the University of Regina in 2011.
New Orleans Saints take chance on former LSU recruit Hicks in third round | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger – During long eight-hour days in a Direct TV call center several, Akiem Hicks used to wonder whether he would ever play football again.
Q&A With Saints Third Round Pick DT Akiem Hicks | neworleanssaints.com
Saints selected Hicks with the 89th pick in the NFL Draft.
Saints Select WR Nick Toon in the 4th Round of the NFL Draft | neworleanssaints.com
Saints drafted the Wisconsin WR with the 122 pick of the draft
Saints selection of WR Toon had Payton’s fingerprints on it | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger – Sean Payton may not be in the Saints’ draft war room, but his fingerprints are all over New Orleans’ fourth-round pick.
Saints Draft S Corey White in the 5th Round | neworleanssaints.com
Saints take safety with the 162nd pick.
Saints find small-school defensive back with fifth-round pick | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger – The Saints added depth to their secondary Saturday, taking Samford defensive back Corey White with their fifth-round pick.
Saints Select G Andrew Tiller in Sixth Round | neworleanssaints.com
He appeared in 35 games with 28 starts on the interior for a resurgent Syracuse program.
New Orleans Saints grab OG Tiller with sixth-round pick | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger – The Saints picked up depth on the offensive line in the sixth round, going with 6-foot-5, 324-pound guard Andrew Tiller from Syracuse.
Q&A with Saints Sixth Round Selection Andrew Tiller | neworleanssaints.com
Saints drafted Tiller with the 179th pick in the Draft.
Saints Take Marcel Jones in the 7th Round of the NFL Draft | neworleanssaints.com
Jones was the 234th selection in the draft.
New Orleans Saints adds OT Jones to draft haul | wwltv.com
Bradley Handwerger – New Orleans lost one former Nebraska offensive lineman this offseason when Carl Nicks left in free agency.
Saints Secure 20 UDFAs After Draft Saturday | sportsnola.com
The following is a list of the undrafted free agents set to sign with the New Orleans at the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday night, according to sources.
Breaking It Down
New Orleans Saints wrap up draft selections by sticking to a familiar script | NOLA.com
Nakia Hogan – The Saints took five players in the NFL draft this weekend, crossing their first major hurdle without their leader, Coach Sean Payton, who began serving his year-long suspension earlier this month for his role in the Saints’ pay-for-performance scandal.
Saints Coaches Minus Payton Hope Draft Adds To Strong Foundation | sportsnola.com
Brian Allee-Walsh – Joking that they resembled the “United Nations Security Council,” New Orleans Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt took a seat alongside fellow assistants Greg McMahon, Pete Carmichael Jr. and Steve Spagnuolo late Saturday afternoon to evaluate their five-player draw in the 2012 NFL draft.
Saints add depth in later draft rounds | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles – After addressing a need with their first pick of the NFL draft in the third round Friday night, the New Orleans Saints did what they normally do in the latter rounds on Saturday.
Saints like finding the ‘little guys’ | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles – Other than not having suspended head coach Sean Payton having his hands in the draft for the first time in seven years, there wasn’t a lot different about how the New Orleans Saints went about adding to their roster Friday and Saturday.
Daily Special, April 28, 2012 | Who Dat Social Club
Spotlight on Akiem Hicks.
NFC South draft analysis – NFC South Blog | ESPN.com
Pat Y. – The 2012 NFL draft won’t be remembered as the flashiest in NFC South history. That honor belongs to the 2011 draft — probably forever.
Steve Spagnuolo set to begin his reshaping of the Saints’ defense | NOLA.com
Mike Triplett – Late Friday, after the Saints wrapped up the second night of the NFL draft, they brought their most important newcomer to the podium to address the media for the first time.
Vitt Opening Statement: We would like to say that Sean (Payton) would have been so proud about how our scouts worked this weekend. They’ve been working hard here for the last month. The draft was extremely organized. There was really a great consensus on the players that we took. We took these players (and) they fit into the mode we want: their character, integrity, passion for the game and work habits. Mickey has always done a good job, but we’re proud of our scouts. That being said, we’ve talked about our first two picks. Corey White from Samford, a small school, we really liked. Kenny Flajole kind of got on this guy early. There was a consensus with the scouts and Spags. He’s a little bigger corner. We think he could have the opportunity to play some nickel. He did earlier in his career, but we’re excited about him. Tiller from Syracuse, we had a little bit of inside information. You guys all know Doug Marrone. He’s the head coach up at Syracuse now. He likes this prospect. He knows what we want here and feels that would be a fit for us. That’s the consensus among the coaches and the scouts and then with Marcel Jones from Nebraska. At this point in the draft, we took some height, weight, speed, a guy that had some intangibles we think can lend to our football team.”
Spagnuolo Q: Are you looking to play White at corner initially rather than safety?
“Yes, he has some length. We’re going to be a press team. He had shown he can do that pretty good.”
Spagnuolo, Vitt, McMahon Q: Do you like his vertical ability?
Spagnuolo A: “Yes, he showed that. He’s one of those guys that showed up a little bit at an all-star game…small-school player, but a guy that shows up. All the feedback we received from the coaches and the information was positive.”
Vitt: “I think one of the things that were impressive about him is that when he played against a big-time opponent he played really well.”
McMahon: “He jumped out in the Auburn game. We saw him on certainly defense and special teams. He’s a guy that when you come from a small school, you want to see him against good competition. He played well.”
Vitt Q: Over the past two days you have talked about how the guys you have drafted have been at the top of your board in these draft locations. At the same time, do you think that you have satisfied any of your needs?
“That’s a good question. We think we’re a pretty good football team and so it kind of gets to the point now where you don’t have to reach for a need. We’ve done a great job in the offseason with unrestricted free agency, so now, we had a pool of about 18 players that we thought would potentially be there in the third and fourth round and they were there and again, we didn’t reach on anybody. We let the board come to us and maintained the discipline of the draft.”
Vitt Q: Was that unusual?
“I thought it was smooth. I really did. There have been some hectic drafts that I’ve been a part of and we’ve all been a part of. This was well-organized. Mickey (Loomis) did a great job. Again, Sean (Payton) would have been so proud of our scouts. They did a great job. The coaches really did a great job in their evaluations. We feel good about it. We can’t wait to get them in two weeks. We’re having our minicamp and we’ll start to coach them up then.”
Vitt Q: How tough is it to find gems in later rounds, even though this organization has historically been able to do so the last six years?
“I think it’s how you look at it. In my hard and my mind right now, these guys are all Pro Bowl players until they prove us different. We think they have all the redeeming qualities necessary to make our football team and compete in the league. But we’ve had a lot of low round draft picks and (undrafted) free agents make this team. We’ve had a lot of players from small schools make this team. You make a team a lot of different ways in a lot of different phases with different backgrounds. Their intangibles, their character, football character, their tenacity and love for the game and resiliency (will help them).”
Carmichael Q: Everybody will want to make comparisons of Andrew Tiller and Marcel Jones to the drafting of players like Jahri Evans, Carl Nicks and Zach Strief in middle to low rounds. Is that fair right now?
“We’re excited about these two guys. We feel like there’s a chance for these guys to come in and contribute in some form and whether it’s a year or two down the road…To compare them, I don’t know if that’s fair right now, but we’re excited about (having) them.”
Vitt and McMahon Q: When you look at the draft picks from rounds three to seven, where does special teams come into play as you have said this is a hard football team to make. Where does special teams go into the equation?
Vitt: “Every reading that we have on defense and three quarters of the readings we have on offense will have a special teams category in there. Mac, how many guys do you grade in there?”
McMahon: “We do quite a few. Every linebacker, every defensive player we do.”
Vitt: “When we look at a player we want to see how they’re going to contribute, how many snaps can we project per game. That all goes into it.”
Vitt Q: It’s been said that you should often take an offensive lineman late in the draft due to the maturation process. What goes into the maturation process of a rookie offensive lineman?
“When you get late in the draft, I think there are two positions. I think offensive line is one. You’ve got to have the size, you’ve got to have to have the mass and you’ve got to have the footwork and hand placement to be able to compete in this league. When you get a guy who has those qualities that you covet, you take a chance on him. At cornerback, a guy may not have played very well in the beginning of his career and maybe didn’t have a good senior year, but he has the speed, the recover ability, the hips and the fluidness to break on the ball. I think those are the two positions you take a chance on late in the draft. If you go back with the history of our draft, that’s what Al Davis used to make a living on was the late-round picks. Gil Brandt with the Dallas Cowboys when there were 15 or 16 rounds in a draft (is another example). Those guys made a living at that stuff. To a degree we still do it.”
Vitt Q: Do you all find yourselves being more cohesive as an entity until Sean Payton gets back in regards to coaching instead of just one figurehead?
“This is Sean’s (Payton) football team. Sean brought us all together and we’re going to work hard to make him proud. We don’t want to let him down. We’re going to work as hard as we can not to let our players down. We’re going to work together and be responsible so we don’t let Mr. Benson down. We have a close, cohesive staff. We’ve always had that and our players see that. You can’t fool players. I’m not going to say that this is going to be easy. This is going to be a challenge. I’ve said this in the press conference the other day, we built a football team to coincide with the resiliency of this city when we first got down here. We’re tough enough to whether this storm. We have the right people and the right coaches and we’re looking forward to it.”
Vitt Q: Without a first or second round pick in this year’s draft, was there less pressure on you all with the draft selections in the later rounds?
“I can tell you this, when we lose our first game we’re not going to look at each other and say, ‘Well at least we didn’t have a second round pick. That’s the excuse for losing.’ We’re going to coach the guys we have here. We’re going to coach them as hard as we can. We all know that our responsibility is to get our players better and then collectively get our team better. We talked about this as a staff, the glass is half full. Mark Ingram and Greg Romeus were our first two picks this year and then we went to the third round and got (Akiem) Hicks. We’ve got good football players. We’re excited about our draft and we’re excited about the prospects.”
Vitt Q: Why will Akiem Hicks be different from Al Woods?
“I think this guy (Akiem Hicks) has a quicker twitch, he has better feet and he uses his better. Off the top of my head, that’s what I’ve seen in the evaluation.”
Spagnuolo Q: Some people had Corey White in the 600′s for available prospects. What went into evaluating him so high?
“Joe (Vitt) hit it when he said we put a premium on corners in the package we’re going to run on arm length, height and his press ability. He showed that he was able to do that in this system. We have corners that have done that a lot. I think he’ll fit in that way. He played at a small school so you’ll get dinged for that a little bit and I don’t know if that’s always fair. That’s what our scouts dug up, a good name, a good prospect, we all looked at him and thought he was a pretty good football player.”
Vitt Q: Do you feel like you’re finished filling in with free agency?
“No, we’re never done. We’re going to look at the board every day. Mickey (Loomis) and Ryan Pace are going to always look to upgrade our football team. It’s funny, the draft just happened and now there’s going to be a second wave of cuts around the league. We’re going to evaluate that and see how we can upgrade our football team. That’s an ongoing process.”
Vitt Q: Are you beginning the undrafted rookie free agency signing period now?
“We’re going right now.”
Vitt Q: Is there a number of incoming rookie free agents you’re trying to hit?
“There is, but I’m not sure exactly what it is. I think it’s 18 to fill out the roster to get to 90 (players).”
Vitt Q: Do you think the NFC is going to be stronger this year?
“I think the conference is going to be better this year. I think our division is going to be better this year just with the players that came in last year coming into their second year. I think Cam Newton is going to be better, I think Julio Jones is going to be better and we’ve got to work hard to get better. You can’t speculate on the draft picks coming in this year. I know this; we’re going to love every one of these guys coming in here. We learned a long time ago as coaches that you have to love the one you’re with. I’ve been married 31 years and I wasn’t my wife’s first choice, I can promise you that. That’s what we’re going to do.”