HOME

TEAM PAGES
  

NFL DRAFT

  
FANTASY FOOTBALL

  
AGAINST the SPREAD
     
STATS

      
DTR Inc
.
Business Consulting
   
MY BOOK

"How to Get, Keep and
 Be Well Paid in a Job"





NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Pro Sports Daily     Official Site     USA Today     Pro Football Weekly     Saints Stats     ESPN

2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft

2005 draft     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 14 Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State #4 CB Round 1
4 116 Chip Vaughn SS Wake Forest #2 SS Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Everyone both on and off the football field should keep an eye on this kid.  A hard-hitting safety, Vaughn ran a 4.40 forty.  However, his speed is not just straight line.  He also ran a 4.12 short shuttle and a 7.03 three-cone.  Vaughn is ideal as an in-the-box strong safety.
4 118 Stanley Arnoux ILB Wake Forest #10 ILB Round 5
5 164 Thomas Morstead P Southern Methodist #2 P Late Round Value
FA ---- Reggie Jones CB Portland State NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Danny Gorrer CB Texas A&M NR Late Round Value
FA ---- P. J. Hill RB Wisconsin NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Jonathan Castillas OLB/SS Wisconsin #13 OLB Round 4
FA ---- Matt Simon WR Northern Illinois NR 7th/FA

 

C-

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

I agreed with half of the Saints picks, however, with one of the selections I disagreed with their only selection in the first three rounds their draft grade suffered.  They did add a couple of college street free agents with a legitimate shot at making the roster.

DRAFT PICKS

I felt the only cornerback the Saints should add in the draft was one who would be a shut down corner.  They have a number of cornerbacks I like who are good NFL players, including free agent signee Greer, last year's free agent signee Gay, and last year's second round pick, Porter.  I also wouldn't give up on Usama Young just yet as a cornerback.  Therefore, selecting a corner in round one was okay, however, not Jenkins.  Jenkins who is more quick than fast, can be a solid starting cornerback, an excellent nickel corner, and a potential top-tier free safety.  I do not believe he will be a shut down corner.  If the Saints gambled on Vontae Davis' athleticism, or Darius Butler's  tremendous speed, or even Alphonso Smith's smarts and ballhawking I would have been more willing to give them a pass.  My selection, however, would have been outside linebacker Brian Cushing.

Vaughn is a tremendous physical specimen.  He has great strength, speed, quickness and athleticism.  I saw him more as an in-the-box strong safety with plus cover skills.  However, playing him at free safety and pairing him long term with Harper is very intriguing.   He may need some time to grow into a starting free safety, but he will be a terror on special team cover units until that happens.

Arnoux was an okay selection.  He has good speed and a well conditioned athlete.  However, with Jaspar Brinkey on the board, if I wanted a future middle linebacker, I would have gone with him over Arnoux.  My pick here would have been outside linebacker Marcus Freeman.  His strength, speed, quickness numbers were outrageous and the only reason he was still on the board is that he played hurt his senior year so he didn't look as good on tape as he did the previous year.

The Saints needed a punter and came away with my second-rated punter in the draft.   Morestead will be a steady pro.

 COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Jones is a great athlete with good speed.  He will be a plus special teams player if he wins one of the last spots on the Saints' roster.  His athleticism makes him worth keeping and trying to develop on the practice squad this year.

Gorrer is a kid I like.  He has good height, and excellent speed.  I look for him to steal a roster spot during camp.

Hill was a promising NFL prospect early in his college career, but broke his leg as a sophomore (came out as a Junior).  He is an ideal development squad candidate.

Castillas is an outside linebacker/strong safety hybrid who could win a role as a special teams performer and nickel linebacker.  I had a fourth round grade on him and he was an excellent signing by the Saints. 

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Jenkins Malcolm Ohio State 6'0.1" 204 L-L 15 4.51 1.47 2.62 4.08 - 6.59 33" 10'4"
Vaughn Chip Wake Forest 6'1.3" 221 M-L 21 4.40 1.48 2.56 4.12 - 7.03 37" 10'5"
Arnoux Stanley Wake Forest 6'0" 232 L-L 20 4.53 1.49 2.58 4.37 11.64 7.02 31.5" 10'1"
Jones Reggie Portland State 5'11.3" 193 - 13 4.43 1.52 2.54 4.42 - 6.95 40" 10'7"
Gorrer Danny Texas A&M 5'11.5" 185 - - 4.40 1.50 2.53 - - 6.90 35.5" 9'5"
Hill P.J. Wisconsin 5'10.1" 222 - 16 4.63 1.59 2.67 4.10 - 7.05 37" 10'2"
Castillas Jonathan Wisconsin 6'1.1" 228 M-M 24 - - - - - - - -
Simon Matt N. Illinois 6'1.3" 199 - 14 4.48 1.53 2.61 4.41 - 7.14 36" 10'4"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Brees is a top quarterback.  Brunell is the backup, it's questionable how he would perform at this point in his career if he was needed for a long stretch of games.  Harrington, the third quarterback, is an UFA.  Look for New Orleans to address the backup quarterback position this offseason.
RB Bush is a useful offensive weapon, but not the explosive one hoped for when the Saints' selected him in the draft.  Thomas is a solid runner, but I'm not sure he is top-drawer.  McAllister hasn't recovered from his injuries.  Stecker, an underrated player is an UFA.  Surprisingly, after usi8ng a high pick on Reggie Bush a few years ago, the Saints have a need at running back
WR Colston should bounce back after dealing with a thumb injury last year.  Moore played very well and has a nice future in the league.  Henderson is an UFA.  He has great speed and makes some big plays, but has shown inconsistent hands.  Patten is a solid veteran and Meachem, who hasn't developed as quickly as hoped for, is still a promising prospect.  The Saints may add another useful body at receiver, but that is about it.
TE Shockey and Miller are a nice one-two punch.  However, Shockey is moody and injury prone.  Campbell, an excellent blocker is coming off injury and is an UFA.  Personally, I would add a tight end, especially if Campbell walks.
OL The Saints have an efficient, productive offensive line.  However, right tackle Stinchcomb is an UFA and Evans is a RFA.  While the Saints have depth, their backups are best served remaining in backup roles, not moving into the starting lineup.
DL The Saints invested heavily in Smith and Grant and their performance is going in the wrong direction.  McCray looked like their best end at times last year.   Ellis is a keeper who will be playing in Pro Bowls very soon.  Young, Thomas and Clancy are reliable vets who can be plugged in next to Ellis.  The Saints need a defensive end, but won't bring in a top talent because of the money they have already committed to that position. 
LB Vilma is an UFA.  If he leaves, there isn't a good option to start on their roster.  Shanle and Futija are solid.  However, with or without Vilma, the Saints lack a difference-maker, a player other teams have to prepare for at linebacker.  They such a player.
DB The Saints have a lot of good players at corner, but were riddled with injuries last year.  I like Gay, Porter, McKenzie and Young to be a capable unit, although if a true shut down corner can be secured, the Saints should jump on that opportunity.  At safety, Harper is fine at strong safety, but it may be time to re-think free safety.  Bullocks has not become the player the team expected him to be and Kaesviharn is solid, but replaceable as a starter.
ST The Saints young kickers earned a second chance in 2009.  Bush is best as a playmaker returning punts.  Roby is a good kick returner but may have to beat out a bottom of the roster receiver to keep the job.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 7 Sedrick Ellis DT 6'0" 309 Tennessee #1 DT Round 1
2 40 Tracy Porter CB/Ret 5'10.7" 188 Indiana #6 CB Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Porter has excellent speed, a nose for the ball, and good man-to-man cover skills.  Some question his toughness but the kid showed good strength at the Combine and he did have 83 tackles his senior year.  Porter is an underrated cornerback prospect.  He also looked good during Senior Bowl practices.  He could develop into one of the better corners in the league.  He is also a good punt returner.
5 144 DeMario Pressley DT 6'3" 300 N Car St #10 DT Round 3/Round 4
5 164 Carl Nicks OT/OG 6'4.7" 341 Nebraska #7 OT Round 2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Nicks is very big, very strong, and very quick for a man his size.  He is also a good athlete and can play either tackle or guard.  He will have a good NFL career.
6 178 Taylor Mehlhaff K 5'10" 185 Wisconsin #1 K Late Round Value
7 237 Adrian Arrington WR 6'2.7" 203 Michigan   Late Round Value
FA   Jeremy Geathers DE 6'2.1" 256 UNLV   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   JoLonn Dunbar ILB/OLB 6'0.4" 231 Boston Coll   Late Round Value/Free Agent
FA   David Roach FS 6'0.3" 210 TCU #5 FS Round 3/Round 4
FA   Todd Blythe WR 6'4.7" 217 Iowa State   Late Round Value

 

A

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

Given that the Saints had no third or fourth round picks, their grade of "A" is very impressive.   They got excellent value with Nicks and signed one of my favorite college street free agents in Roach.

DRAFT PICKS

Ellis was my top rated defensive tackle in the draft.  I believe he will be a more dominate NFL player than Dorsey.  Ellis was virtually unblockable in Senior Bowl practices.  He will be solid against the run and will get penetration against the pass and make sacks.  He could be the best defensive tackle since Warren Sapp.  Obviously, a great get by the Saints.

Porter was a very underrated corner coming into this draft.  He has excellent man-to-man cover skills, great speed and quickness and a nose for the ball.  The supposed knock on him is that he doesn't like to mix it up.  However, he has good strength for the position and made his share of tackles at Indiana.  I look for him to eventually be a starter and the Saints' best corner.

Pressley is good against the run.  He has tremendously quick feet and changes direction very well.  He is not the big-time run stuffer, but instead moves well to the ballcarrier to stop quick bursts thru the hole.  He should be a good rotation player for New Orleans' for years.

Nicks was a steal in round five.  He is a boom or bust type that I believe will be a boom, hence my second round grade.  In round two, however, there was a considerable risk.  In round five it was a no brainer.  Nicks is a big man with tremendous speed and quickness for a man his size.  He is also a strong kid who, worst case should develop into a good run-blocking guard.  Best case he could be a dominate tackle.

Mehlhaff was my top rated kicker.  He has good accuracy and a better leg than many think.  He could be this year's version of Nick Folk.  Oh, by the way he had 14 bench presses, not bad for a kicker!

Early reports on Arrington have been very good from Saints' camp.  However, that's what they are, early reports.  Don't expect another Colston.  In fact, Arrington may have trouble making the team and could wind up on the practice squad. 

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Geathers is a strong, undersized defensive end who could develop into a situational pass rusher.  With backups like Josh Savage and Orien Harris on the depth chart, he has a shot a roster spot.

Dunbar's best attribute is his versatility.  He can play inside and outside and will be a productive special teams player.  Still, he will have his hands full trying to make the roster. 

Roach was a great free agent signing.  I will be surprised if he doesn't make the roster.  Roach convinced me that he will be a good pro by his workouts.  He was thought to be a good athlete, and he is.  He was thought to have good speed, and he does.  he was thought to be too straighht-line, lacking quickness and change-of-direction skills.  Uhhh, no.  Look at the numbers!  They're excellent.  Lastly, he will need work on his technique, he doesn't play as fluidly as he should.  Most thought that was due to the supposed limitations.  I believe it was because he was getting by on his athletic ability alone.  Roach will be a toip special teams player and could be a quality starter down the line.

Blythe is a tall, quick, slot receiver with a knack for catching touchdowns.  He could wind up on the Saints' practice squad and could be a better long term asset than Arrington.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Ellis Cedric USC 6'0" 309 36 5.01 1.85 3.06 4.75 NA 7.78 30" 8'9"
Porter Tracy INDIANA 5'10.7" 188 18 4.30 1.46 2.56 4.07 NA 7.20 34" 10'3"
Pressley DeMario N CAR ST 6'3" 300 28 5.09 1.65 2.86 4.72 NA 7.15 28" 8'10"
Nicks Carl NEBRASKA 6'4.7" 341 31 5.18 1.80 2.98 4.68 NA 7.91 25.5" 9'1"
Arrington Adrian MICHIGAN 6'2.7" 203 NA 4.55 1.53 2.64 NA NA NA 36" NA
Geathers Jeremy UNLV 6'2.1" 256 29 4.74 1.66 2.83 4.49 NA 7.28 28" 8'9"
Dunbar Jo-Lonn BOSTON COL 6'0.4" 231 19 4.79 1.52 2.69 4.45 NA 7.05 33" 9'4"
Roach David TCU 6'0.3" 210 16 4.51 1.54 2.59 4.15 11.11 6.88 38.5" 10'3"
Blythe Todd IOWA ST 6'4.7" 217 NA 4.61 1.61 2.67 4.23 NA 6.92 31.5" 9'10"


2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

NO          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Brees is a solid starter.  Martin is a free agent so the team needs to resign him, or bring in another backup.  Palko is not a bad #3 who could develop into a good backup quarterback.
RB  The need here depends on how well McAllister comes back from injury.  Bush will need some time to become a full time starter.  He may grow into a Brian Westbrook type of player.  To do that he will have to commit to the weight room and become a better runner inside the tackles.  Thomas is a keeper.  Stecker gets it done.  
WR  Colston is All Pro.  Patten is a nice receiver but if an upgrade can be secured it would help.  Meachem could be that guy, but may need a year contributing in multiple receiver sets.  Henderson flashes big-time potential, but has inconsistent hands.  Moore has the look of a long time, valuable #4 receiver.  Copper is a valuable end of the roster type player.
TE Johnson can catch, but is hurt a lot.  Campbell is coming off injury, but is best served as a #2.  Miller, once a one-dimensional receiving threat is an improved blocker and a valuable reserve.  If a top tight end can be brought in, it would represent an upgrade.
OL  The Saints line did an excellent job protecting Brees.  It's hard to know if the drop off in run blocking was due to the line regressing a bit, or McAllister's injury.  The Saints also have good depth.  If a player the Saints' believe can be a dominate LG or RT, they could pull the trigger.  Otherwise, the team will just bring in competition for camp.
DL A deep and talented unit needs Grant and Smith to rebound and get more sacks next year.  A third end who can rush the passer should be added.  The team has good depth at tackle.
 LB The trio of Futija, Simoneau and Shanle just doesn't strike fear in opposing teams.  All are solid players, Futija more than that, but a stud in the middle and a sideline-to-sideline force at the WILL are needed.
DB This is a case where the sum of the parts is not better than the whole.  When looked at individually, you would think the unit would perform better than it does.  To correct that, a top corner should be brought in to pair with McKenzie or Young, and the short-statured David should be relegated to the nickel.  At safety Harper and Bullocks look like a good young tandem.  However, the unit may be best served if a cagey veteran was paired with one of the youngsters.
ST A third kicker could be brought in to compete with Mare and Gramatica.  Punter, long-snapper, and the return game are in good hands.

 

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's Draft Value
1 27 Meachem, Robert WR 6-3 211 Tennessee # 3 WR Round 1
3 66 Young, Usama CB 5-11 186 Kent State # 9 CB Round 3
3 88 Alleman, Andy G 6-4 302 Akron # 5 OG Round 2
4 107 Pittman, Antonio RB 5-11 195 Ohio State # 3 RB Round 2
4 125 Bushrod, Jermon OT 6-4 315 Towson Late Round Value
5 145 Jones, David CB 6-0 196 Wingate Late Round Value
7 220 Mitchell, Marvin ILB 6-3 249 Tennessee Late Round Value
FA McKnight, Rhema WR 6-1 211 Notre Dame #13 WR Round 3
FA Palko, Tyler QB 6-1 212 Pittsburgh Late Round Value
FA Porter, Joe CB 5-10 198 Rutgers Late Round Value

 

A

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Saints followed up a great year with an terrific draft  They secured three players from my list of players who will have a better NFL career than many drafted ahead of them.  They then added one of the top college street free agents available in McKnight. 

The rich get richer.  In Meachem the Saints add another future offensive star.  He has very good hands, excellent speed and quickness and nice size.  However, many receivers don't hit their stride until their third year in the NFL and I have a feeling Meachem will follow that trend, not buck it.  He will be productive early, but he will explode down the line.  Usama Young jumped out at me after his workout.  The kid has the speed to run with fast receivers, will have to be sure not not hit his head on the dome when he jumps, and was one of the best athletes in the draft.  And, oh yeah, he was a very good corner for Kent State.  He was a little inconsistent in college but that was because he could usually get by just on his athleticism.  After he gets coached up by the Saints, he could be special.  What Young was athletically for corners, Alleman was for guards.  Alleman is another small school prospect who may need time, but should be a long time starter in the NFL.  Pittman was an out and out steal.  In the last few years I've had some success identifying the top couple of backs after the first round backs.  This year the running back I loved was Pittman.  He was clearly my third rated back in the draft.  Unfortunately for me (but not the Saints) it may awhile before I can be proved right due the presence of Bush and McAlister (and even Stecker) on the Saints' roster.  Pittman reminds me of the Jones brothers.  He runs like Thomas, but has the breakaway speed of Julius.  Like all of the Saints' previous selections, Bushrod is a gifted athlete for his position.  He needs to hit the weight room, but should develop into a reliable backup and possible starter in time.  Jones is another top athlete.  He played corner and receiver in college but projects as a backup corner in the NFL.  He has very good speed and man cover skills but is raw in zone coverage and doesn't like to mix it up.  He will have to become more physical to make the Saints' roster since he will need to make a living on special teams coverage units in addition to being a backup cornerback.  I thought Mitchell would be best served going to a team that played a 3-4 defense.  Mitchell has good size, is quick, but has only average speed.  On the field he makes tackles.  He could stick as a reliable reserve.  

The Saints signed three college street free agents that I will mention here.  McKnight is an interesting case.  He played poorly during early Senior Bowl practices, but came on late making some terrific catches and showing his ability to get open.  McKnight makes sharp cuts and is quick, but lacks the speed and athleticism of the top receivers in the draft.  I had a third round grade on him because I believe he can be a Keenan McCardell type of receiver.  One who may have trouble getting on the field because he lacks some of the desired measurables, but once he gets on the field, he gets open and makes the tough catches.  Palko had a chance to jump into the mix of day two quarterbacks during the post-season, but didn't separate himself from the pack during the all star game practices and games.  However, he is a smart kid I called a poor-man's Drew Brees who could be stashed on the Saints' development squad and turn into a solid backup quarterback.  Porter is the type of player that development squads were made for.  He is a track guy who has showed football skills at cornerback but needs more work.  During his workout, some had him timed at 4.28 in the forty.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
MEACHEM ROBERT TENNESSEE WR 6'2" 214   4.39 1.49 2.49 4.19 11.30 6.97 37.5" 10'8"
Meachem has it all, good size, speed, quickness, good hands and athleticism.  The only negative some find is that he only had one standout year in college.  However, that was a great year where he set a single season record for most receiving yardes at Tennessee.  Meachem is a future NFL star.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
YOUNG USAMA KENT STATE CB 5'11.1" 196 15 4.39 1.46 2.51 4.31   6.65 43" 10'11"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Wow!  Look at the numbers.  Young played well at Kent State and his workout numbers clearly show he should be able to transfer those skills to the NFL.  The kid has speed, can change direction well, and is a phenomenal athlete.  He will be a good special teams player while he learns how to play corner in the NFL.  Young is a sleeper worth watching.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
ALLEMAN ANDY AKRON OG 6'4" 305 30 5.07 1.71 2.87 4.38   7.43 30" 8'10"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

Alleman is a perfect fit for the zone blocking scheme, although he could play in any system.  He is the most athletic guard in the draft.  Alleman also has good strength and was impressive in drills at the Combine.  Alleman could step in right away and be one of the surprises of the draft while lineman selected ahead of him languish on the bench.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
PITTMAN ANTONIO OHIO ST RB 5'10.6" 210 16 4.40 1.52 2.53 4.16   6.84 35.5" 10'3"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

After Peterson and Lynch, Pittman is the running back I would draft if I was looking for a prime time back.  He has the speed to bounce outside and take it the distance, is quick and makes good cuts, and has enough strength to run inside.  Pittman has the skills to be a runner like Thomas or Julius Jones.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
BUSHROD JERMON TOWSON OT 6'4.5" 315 22 4.92 1.61 2.82 4.72     32" 8'6"
Bushrod is an athletic tackle with good feet and the potential to develop into a starter down the line.  He needs to get stronger but is an intriguing day two prospect.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
JONES DAVID WINGATE CB 5'11.7" 195                  
Jones is a gifted athlete who played both corner and receiver in college.  Corner will be his NFL position.  He is a fast cover corner who needs work as a zone defender and doesn't play physically against the run.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
MITCHELL MARVIN TENNESSEE ILB/OLB 6'3" 249 22 4.79 1.62 2.74 4.25   7.29 32" 9'8"
Mitchell is an active linebacker who made a lot of tackles at Tennessee.  He has good size, average speed, but good quickness so he may be best served inside in a 3-4 defense.  

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
MCKNIGHT RHEMA NOTRE DAME WR 6'1.2" 211   4.53     4.16 11.28 6.84 34" 9'10"
McKnight is an intriguing prospect.  Early at Senior Bowl practices he had trouble holding onto the ball, but he came on strong later in the week making great catches and constantly getting open, and had a nice game.  McKnight knows how to get open.  He makes sharp cuts and is quick.  However, he is not the fastest or most athletic receiver.  He could go late on day one or late on day two.  Personally, I think he is closer to the receiver that showed up late during Senior Bowl week rather than the receiver who was dropping the ball early during Senior Bowl week.

COMBINE
YES

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3
 CONE
VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
PALKO TYLER PITTSBURGH QB 6'1.3" 212   4.83 1.73 2.83 4.36   7.05 31.5" 9'4"
Palko is a heady quarterback who didn't separate himself from the pack during his work at the post season all star games.  However, he is a poor-man's Drew Brees, one who could dewvelop into a nice backup.

COMBINE
NO

 

COLLEGE

POS HGHT WGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE VERTICAL
JUMP
BROAD
JUMP
PORTER JOE RUTGERS CB 5'10.1" 198 21 4.33 1.47 2.48 4.23   6.62 36" 10'3"
Porter is a track guy who is one of the fastest players in the draft.  He is also a solid football player but could use time on a team's development squad.  

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Competition for Martin as backup QB should be brought in.
RB McAllister and Bush are a greta 1-2 punch.  Stecker is a solid #3.
WR If Horn leaves, a body for depth could be added.
TE Miller is an UFA.  A backup receiving TE could be added in the draft.  Their are a couple of receiving only TEs.
OL The Saints' line was an excellent pass blocking unit and good run blocking unit.  Stinchcomb is an UFA.
DL Thomas and Lake are UFAs and a run-stuffer would help whether they come back or not.
LB As a unit they played better than expected.  Adding a stud would upgrade the unit.
DB Two corners are needed.  A Started and a backup.  Insurance for the rookie Harper should also be added.
ST How long can Carney continue?  There are some good young kickers in the draft.

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

New Orleans
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 2 Bush, Reggie RB 5-11 200 Southern California # 1 RB Round 1
2 43 Harper, Roman FS 6-0 197 Alabama # 5 FS Round 3
4 108 Evans, Jahri OT 6-4 317 Bloomsburg Late Round Value > Round 4
5 135 Ninkovich, Rob DE 6-3 260 Purdue # 18 DE Round 4
6 171 Hass, Mike WR 6-0 208 Oregon State Late Round Value > Round 4
6 174 Lay, Josh 'Bernard' CB 6-0 196 Pittsburgh # 11 CB Round 3
7 210 Strief, Zach G 6-7 349 Northwestern # 12 OT Round 4
7 252 Colston, Marques TE 6-4 223 Hofstra Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Bienemann, Troy TE 6-5 256 Washington State Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Davis, Tommy DE 6-3 270 North Carolina Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Phillips, Anwar CB 6-0 190 Penn State Late Round Value > Round 4
  FA Weatherford, Steve P 6-2 215 Illinois # 2 P Round 7
  FA Hughes, Connor K 5-10 172 Virginia # 3 K Round 7

 

B

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

After grabbing the best player in the draft in round one, the Saints reached for their next two picks, but got good value in round five, round six (second selection), and round seven (first selection).

The grade for the Saints includes the draft day trade which netted them center Jeff Faine.  Bush was the best player in the draft and the Saints did a good job of not trading out of the spot once he fell to them.  Bush, McAlister, Brees, Horn, Stallworth, and even Henderson give the Saints the potential for one of the most explosive offenses in the league.  In addition to Bush being a top runner, he would have been a first round pick if he played wide receiver.  It will be interesting to see how Coach Payton uses McAllister and Bush.  I would start them together with Bush moving back and forth from a two back set to slot receiver.  The result would be the Saints' creating favorable matchups all over the field.  To make the offense even more flexible, I would use my tight end at times on the line, and at times I would line him up as a blocking fullback for McAllister, and then I would also use McAllister a little (very little but enough to keep defenses guessing) at fullback leading Bush throw the hole.  Harper was a reach in round two, although not a bad reach.  I had a third round grade on him, and that was higher then many other draft analysts.  Harper is a heady player who reacts quickly to the action on the field.  He has good speed, but is limited athletically and is not, currently, a playmaker.  Harper is the type of player who fits in as a long term starter (hence the not a bad reach statement), appreciated more by his team than by outside observers.  However, in addition to a reach, the Saints had more pressing needs than at free safety.  There was talk that the Saints would have drafted Hawk, not Williams if the Texans drafted Bush.  In part that was due to a pressing need at linebacker.  The trade with the Browns (for Faine) cost the Saints OLB Thomas Howard who I think would have been their second round pick if they stayed at their original spot in round two.  While I like Fincher's potential, and believe he could find himself starting in the middle by seasons' end, I would have drafted Abdul Hodge in round two, put him in the middle, and known that I had a hard-hitting, long-time starter at that position who would be the face and soul of the defense.  In round four Evans was another reach.  Evans is as developmental prospect with upside, but needs to add bulk and strength to make the move inside to guard.  Evans is at least a year (more likely two) from being a reliable backup, so round four was at least a round (probably two) early to select him.  He does have the potential to be a quality starter down the line, but so do a lot of other players at guard in the draft.  Kuper would have been my pick at guard at this spot.  Ninkovich is one of the underrated pass rushing defensive ends in the draft.  He is very quick, changes direction well, and could be a pass rush specialist for the Saints this year.  He will need to add bulk to get on the field in run situations.  Hass could stick as a third down specialist.  He runs precise routes, can set up defensive backs, knows how to get open, and has reliable hands.  He lacks the speed to get deep consistently so his ceiling is as a fourth receiver who can come in to catch a 8 to 14 yard pass to move the chains.  Lay was a great pick in round six.  I had a third round grade on Lay.  Lay is a 6' corner with a 40.5" vertical jump, and acceptable speed.  Lay has the potential to develop into a corner who can cover the taller receivers in the league.  He does need to show he is willing to step up and make big hits against the run, but that will come in time.  Strief was another good get.  I had a fourth round grade on him.  He is a giant of a man with a mean streak who got by in college on size and attitude.  With work in the weight room Streif should develop into a good starting right tackle.  Colston was an intelligent pick in round seven.  He has an excellent blend of size and speed and is at his best going up to catch high throws.  He will, most likely, never be a starter, but could provide a nice target in goal line situations.

The Saints signed a number of noteworthy college street free agents.  Bienemann is a tight end whose best asset is his long snapping ability.  With Houser established as the long snapper, Bienemann will have to show good special teams skills to force the Saints to keep him as a fourth tight end and backup long snapper.  Davis is a defensive end with the size and strength to play the run.  Phillips plays better than he tests.  Still, his speed is suspect for a corner.  His quickness, athleticism, change-of-direction skills, and speed are better suited to free safety.  If he can prove that he can play safety and corner he could stick as a backup defensive back.  Weatherford will have a hard time beating out Berger for the Saints' punting job, but could stick as a kickoff specialist.  Hughes has great leg strength and could battle Weatherford for the kickoff job, and also be an option to kick long fields.  He is also very accurate from short distances.  He could challenge Carney full time field goal job.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Bush USC 5'10.7",201 4.33           25 40.5" 10'9"  
RB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Can do it all.  Is a bigger, faster Brian Westbrook.  Bush has a real chance to be the first player picked in the draft.  In his senior year Bush rushed for over 1,700 yards, had almost 500 yards receiving, rushed for 16 touchdowns, and averaged almost 9 yards a carry.  Bush is fast, quick, athletic, and strong.  He can run outside, is a stronger inside runner than many think, catches like wide receiver, and is the top return man in the draft.  He is an unique talent destined to be a superstar in the NFL.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Harper Alabama 5'11.7", 198 4.48     4.34 11.81 7.04   34" 9'8"  
FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Harper looked good in coverage at Senior Bowl practices.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Harper is a heady player who reacts quickly to plays in front of him.  While smart, he is not a ballhawk.  Harper does have better speed than many thought, but is limited athletically.  Harper is the type of player who won't wow anyone but will be a steady long term starter in the league.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Evans Bloomsburg 6'4", 318 5.24 1.81 3.11 4.88   7.98 20 27" 7'11"  
OG/OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Evans has good size, but needs to add bulk and get stronger to transition to guard, his best chance for NFL success.  Evans is a developmental prospect but has enough upside to be drafted on day two rather than risk signing as a priority free agent.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Ninkovich Purdue 6'2.6", 255 4.79 1.66 2.83 4.18 11.33 6.96 23 34.5" 9'8"  
DE/OLB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Ninkovich had a nice East West Shrine Game.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Ninokovich has excellent quickness and terrific change-of-direction skills for a defensive end.  To play the run and the pass he will need to add bulk, but right now Ninkovich can be a very good pass rushing end.  Ninkovich started only 5 games at Purdue the last two years, but accumulated 16 sacks over that time.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Haas Oregon St 6'0.5", 207 4.58 1.60 2.70 4.14   6.52   36.5" 9'8"  
WR
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hass played well in the East West Shrine Game.
Mike Mayock, NFL Network - Haas caught the ball very well at Combine workouts.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hass is a one dimensional receiver.  He can play on third downs, run precise routes, make sharp cuts, get open in the short to intermediate zones, catch the ball, and move the chains.  Hass made big plays down the field in college but doesn't have the speed to do that consistently in the NFL.  He does have excellent hands, can set up defensive backs, and caught 176 balls his last two seasons at Oregon State.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Lay Pittsburgh 6'0.3", 194 4.49 1.50 2.67 3.94   6.78 16 40.5" 10'0"  

PLAYER WHO WILL PERFORM BETTER IN NFL THAN MANY DRAFTED BEFORE HIM

Lay is Ty Law's cousin.  He has good size, excellent quickness, and can cover the larger wide receivers in the league.  However, his speed is only adequate and he needs to show he is willing to mix it up.  Lay is a player who will go late, but should be a long-time starter in the league.
CB
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Strief Northwestern 6'7.3", 333 5.41 1.89 3.18 4.85   7.80 19 21" 7'10"  
OT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Strief is a tough kid with a nasty streak.  He is a right tackle prospect, who needs to get into the weight room, but has the base skills to be a starter in the NFF.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Colston Hofstra 6'4.6", 224 4.43 1.60 2.65 4.44 11.27 6.96   37" 10'3"  
WR
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - At the East West Shrine Game, Colston showed the ability to go up and get the the ball.  Colston has excellent size.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Colston proved to have great speed for a player his size.  He is a developmental prospect who could pay dividends for the team that drafts him.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Bienemann Wash State 6'4.5", 256                    
TE/LS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Bienemann is a good long-snapper who could stick as a third or fourth tight end and special teams player.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Davis North Carolina 6'2.6", 270 4.74     4.31   7.38 34 34" 9'3"  
DE - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Davis is a three-year starter with tremendous strength.  He has the potential to play end in either a 3-4 or 4-3.
PLAYER COLLEGE HGT-WGHT FORTY
DASH
10
DASH
20
DASH
SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER
LIC
Phillips Penn State 5'11.6", 190 4.59     4.09 11.49 6.80 10 35.5" 10'2"  
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Phillips plays better than he tests.  He had a poor forty time, but has good size, quickness, and athleticism.   If Phillips hits the weight room, he could develop into a better free safety than corner.
PLAYER COLLEGE POS WORKOUT NUMBERS
Weatherford Illinois P  
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Weatherford can handle kick offs as well as punt.  After averaging about 45v yards a punt in his sophomore and junior seasons before falling to about 42.5 his senior year.
PLAYER COLLEGE POS WORKOUT NUMBERS
Hughes Virginia K  
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Hughes has a strong leg and also showed accuracy from short distances.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

NO
QB Assuming Brooks is moved, the Saints will need to find their next starting quarterback.
RB McAllister is coming back from injury.  Smith is an UFA, leaving Stecker as the backup.  The Saints need to add a running back to the mix in the offseason.
WR Horn, Stallworth, and Henderson have speed and game-breaking abilities.  A reliable, move-the-chains, wide-out could be added to the mix.  Hakim is an UFA.
TE Hilton came on to play well and could hold onto the starting job in 2006.  Conwell and/or Williams, if either can stay healthy, add depth.  Just in case, another tight end should be brought in to compete.
OL Bentley, their best lineman is an UFA.  Gandy, and especially Brown are solid tackles.  Mayberry, Jacox, and RFA Holland can be improved upon.
DL Smith and Grant are two very good ends.  Howard, an UFA, is also very good, but will be allowed to leave.  Verdon could get playing time next year in his place.  DT Whitehead is also an UFA, but he isn't the run-stuffer needed at defensive tackle anyway.  Sullivan showed improvement, buts needs to take another step next year.  Young is serviceable.  Leisle also has some upside.  A defensive tackle to challenge Sullivan and Leisle, and an end to challenge Verdon are needed.
LB Hodge, Allen, McKinnon, and Slaughter are all UFAs.  Only Hodge figures as a possible starter anyway.  Bockwoldt is an over-achiever who a team can get away with as a starter if the other two starters are top players.  That's not the case with the Saints.  Watson has some upside, but Fincher is the linebacker to watch in camp.  He could start in the middle next year.  The Saints need two new players with starting potential to add to their mix at linebacker.
DB Smith and Bullocks are a good safety tandem.  Bellamy is a quality reserve.  A team could do worse than McKenzie and Thomas at corner.  But a team could do better as well.  Brown is an UFA, so brining in a corner to push the starters and, at worst, be a nickel, is needed.
ST Both kickers are getting up in age and could be replaced.  If Lewis returns healthy, then the return game is in good hands.  However, with Hakim an UFA, another returner is needed in case Lewis doesn't make it back.

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

New Orleans  - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 13 Brown, Jammal OT 6-6 313 Oklahoma # 3 OT Round 1
2 40 Bullocks, Josh FS 6-0 207 Nebraska # 1 FS Round 1
3 82 Fincher, Alfred ILB 6-1 241 Connecticut # 5 ILB Round 3
4 118 Lyman, Chase WR 6-3 217 California # 23 WR Round 4
5 152 McPherson, Adrian QB 6-3 218 Florida State # 7 QB Round 3
6 193 Jefferson, Jason DT 6-1 306 Wisconsin Late Round Value > Round 4
7 232 Verdon, Jimmy DE 6-3 280 Arizona State Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Ellick, Dwight CB 5-10 182 Notre Dame   > Round 4
FA   Joesph, Keith FB 6-2 249 Texas A&M   > Round 4

 

The Saints did a good job drafting for value.  They did not reach, and got excellent value with McPherson on day two.

The Saints had a very good draft.  Offensive tackle was a major need in round one, and Brown will be a good one.  Time will tell if they were right in selecting Brown over Barron, the top tackle on my board.  Both, however, had first round grades.  Bullock will be one of the best defensive players to come out of this draft when analyzed five years down the road.  He is a heady player who has good coverage skills and is a ballhawk.  Immediately, he is the Saints' best safety, however, he will probably start off as a nickel safety, replacing Bellamy in passing situations.  In time, he will beat out Smith as the Saints' starting free safety, and will play at a pro bowl level.  Fincher was another good pick.  He will challenge Watson at middle linebacker.  While Watson is more gifted physically, Fincher is a leader who is instinctive and is a sure tackler.  In time, Watson may be the Saints' starting weakside linebacker, with Fincher taking over in the middle.  Lyman had a fourth round grade from me based on talent, but he is injury prone, and got injured in camp.  He may miss the season.  If he can stay healthy, Lyman has a nice combination of size, speed, and strength, and could be especially effective as a receiver in the red zone.  McPherson should be the Saints' quarterback of the future.  He is a top athlete with a big-time arm.  He is also unusually strong for a quarterback.  Jefferson and Verdon are two defensive lineman who play the run well, but are limited against the pass.  They could be useful role players, especially defensive tackle Jefferson.

The college street free agent signings I will mention are cornerback Dwight Ellick and fullback/running back Keith Joseph.  Ellick has good measurables.  However, he will have to be a standout on special teams to stick because his cornerback skills need developing, and his upside is as a nickel back.  Joseph is a fast, quick fullback who may be best suited as a short-yardage running back.   

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Brown OT 5.02 1.76 4.70   7.95   31.5" 9'1" 13
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Not a bad second option to Barron.  Brown has as much talent as Barron, but is not as sure a thing on the left side.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Bullocks FS 4.46 1.56 4.09   7.09 13 37.5" 9'10" 19

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Plain and simple, Bullocks will be one of the best defensive players to come out of this draft.  He is a heady ballhawk with more athletic skill and speed than originally thought.  Bullocks will be a second round steal.

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Bullocks did all the position drills and looked very good (at his Pro day).
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Fincher ILB 4.74 1.63 4.48 11.85 7.70 25 31.5" 9'4" 21
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Fincher could be a steal in the upcoming draft.  He is a good tackler, but also has excellent on-field leadership skills.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Fincher played okay at the Senior Bowl game.  He looks like a solid tackler.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
UConn MLB Alfred Fincher, who looks very quick and instinctive between the tackles, appears to have emerged as one of the leaders of the North defense.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
UConn LB Alfred Fincher, who is known more as a run-stuffer, got a couple of nice breaks on underneath passing routes at Senior Bowl practice on Tuesday.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Lyman WR 4.49 1.56       16 36.5" 9'7" 24
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Lyman has a nice blend of size, speed and strength.  With the depth at wide receiver, Lyman will be a nice selection on day two of the draft.  The major downside for Lyman is that he has been injury prone.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
McPherson QB 4.50   4.12   6.78 22 40.5" 10'7" 26

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

McPherson is the best athlete among this year's quarterback crop (excluding Matt Jones who will not be a quarterback in the NFL). He has matured since his young college days (who hasn't), and is more than just an athlete. He can throw the ball.

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: McPherson was reported to have had a phenomenal workout.  He is the best athlete of all the quarterbacks in the draft and showed a strong arm and good footwork during quarterback drills.  Has franchise quarterback skills.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports:
McPherson is a quarterback whose career at FSU was cut short and he wound up playing in the Arena Football League. He has good height (6-3½), good speed (4.72 in the 40, right up there with the other fast QBs) and has kept his arm live by playing for the Indiana Firebirds in 2004. His touchdown-to-interception ratio (61 TDs, five INTs) with Indiana was unheard of, and growing up in Florida, he was the high school football and basketball player of the year in the same year. He's agile and athletic -- two very important qualities you'd want your quarterback to have.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
McPherson is a wild card in the draft.  He has good quarterback skills and is a very good athlete.  I would take a chance on him late in day two, or early in day two.  He could develop into a solid NFL quarterback.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
(on www.bradenton.com) reports: Remember Adrian McPherson? His rap sheet is longer than his stat sheet.  McPherson, a can't-miss prospect at Florida State four years ago, was the only high school athlete in the history of talent-rich Florida to be selected both the state's Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in the same year.  But he made only four starts in college and was booted out of Florida State in November 2002 when he was accused in a series of theft and misdemeanor charges. On Friday, McPherson stood at a podium and calmly addressed his transgressions at the NFL Scouting Combine in the city where he was chosen rookie of the year while playing for the Arena Football League's Indiana Firebirds in 2004.  "I was young, I made a mistake," said McPherson, 21. "I'm the first to step up and say I made a mistake. But I'm also the first one to say it's never going to happen again because I don't put myself in situations where I allow trouble to come my way. "I'm mature from it, and anybody that wants to know, I'm willing to stand up and answer any questions and admit to what I did then and move forward." After pleading no contest in July 2003, McPherson was ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution to cover bad checks and avoid conviction on other charges. His sentence included community service, 30 months' probation and a 90-day stint on a county work detail, where he picked up trash at city parks while wearing an orange vest.  Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, whose club is in good hands at quarterback with two-time league MVP Peyton Manning, couldn't resist sneaking a peek at McPherson last year in the Arena League.  "Adrian is a talented guy," Dungy said. "He's going to be an exciting player. Obviously, a team would have to deal with the issues at hand, but his talent is unmistakable."
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Jefferson DT 5.14 1.74 4.48   7.80 19 28.5" 8'6" 21
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Jefferson is a one-dimensional run-stuffer.  he will not be a star, or maybe even a starter, but he will be a useful player to have on a team.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Verdon DE 5.10 1.77 4.53   7.89 18 29.5" 8'9" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Verdon is a run-stuffing end.  He does not have good pass rushing skills.  He could develop into a situational player in the NFL.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Ellick CB 4.37   4.13   6.95 17 36" 10'2" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Ellick is a notch below the top corners in the draft in terms of speed, quickness, strength, and athletic ability.  He is further behind, however, in terms of coverage skills.  Ellick will be a good special teams player, who has a chance to develop into a nickel or dime corner.
PLAYER POS FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
WONDER-
LIC
Joseph FB/RB 4.67 1.71 4.20 11.51 7.30 27 32" 9'7" 11
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:  Joseph has good speed and quickness for a fullback.  In fact he may be better as a short yardage running back in the NFL than a fullback.
NFLFans.com reports:
Joesph is an intelligent back and a good short yardage runner. He is also a good receiver with strong blocking abilities. However, he is not explosive to the line, and needs to develop his running skills..

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: House LS, Riley OT, Howard DE, K Smith DT, Hodge LB, Bellamy S, Craft CB
Key RFA: Allen LB (3rd), Knight LB (6th)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: Brooks and Bouman are a good one and two.  A young player to develop behind them should be addressed in the draft.
RB: McAllister is a very good player.  Stecker played well in relief.  With a deep running back class in this year's draft, a young player to develop as a future starter behind McAllister would be beneficial.
WR:
Horn, Pathon and Stallworth are solid.  Look for Stallworth to take another step forward next year.  Lewis and Henderson round out a very deep position for the Saints.
TE: Williams and Conwell are both above average tight ends.  It is doubtful that a better option will find his way to the Saints this offseason, but if one does, the Saints should take it.
OL: Riley is an UFA.  The Saints line is better than it showed at times last year.  If they resign Riley, they will just address depth in the offseason.
DL: Howard is an UFA.  The Saints could tag and trade him because they have Will Smith waiting in the wings.  Sullivan has not lived up to expectations at tackle and Young is good but lacks bulk.  The Saints need a defensive tackle or two and possibly a end for the back of their rotation if Howard leaves.
LB: This unit needs to be rebuilt.  Watson had a good rookie year and is the only starter assured of holding onto his job.  Hodge is an UFA and it will be interesting to watch if the Saints bring him back.  He is their second best linebacker, but coul;d be improved upon.  Riley and knight are RFAs who are depth-type players.  Rodgers was hurt last year, but is another of those replaceable starters.
DB: The Saints have solid corners, but adding a young potential stud would take it to the next level.  Bellamy is an UFA, will be allowed to leave because he is viewed as nothing special, but is always missed by the team he leaves.  Jones is solid but may not be worth his price tag.  In fact, signing Bellamy for reasonable dollars, releasing Jones, and drafting a young safety could make the most sense for the Saints.
ST: Bring in a young kicker to challenge the aging, but effective Carney is advised.  Berger had a big year punting.  Lewis is an excellent return-man.  Long snapper House is an UFA. 

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

New Orleans
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 18 Smith, Will DE 6-3 267 Ohio State
2 50 Henderson, Devery WR 5-11 191 Louisiana State
2 60 Watson, Courtney ILB 6-1 237 Notre Dame
5 139 Leisle, Rodney DT 6-3 309 UCLA
5 156 Karney, Mike FB 5-11 254 Arizona State
7 240 Bockwoldt, Colby OLB 6-1 230 Brigham Young

 

The Saints had a fairly good draft. In round one they selected defensive end Will Smith who was excellent value, and will help now and in the future.  With Smith the Saints will not have to overpay Darren Howard; a very good, but not elite end, who will be looking for elite compensation.  However, in my gut, I believe Dontarrious Thomas, the linebacker from Auburn, will be a dominate player in the NFL, and would have been an interesting selection at this spot for the Saints. Hodge is the only current starting linebacker on the Saints that is a high quality starter.  In round two the Saints drafted another player I like.  Henderson is very fast and an excellent overall athlete.  Again, however, (like with Smith) there is talent ahead of him on the depth chart in Stallworth, Horn, and Pathon.  Look for the Saints to bring Henderson along slowly.  In time, Henderson will become a big-time playmaker.  I had a late third, early fourth round grade on Watson.  The Saints desperately need him to start.  While he was taken higher than I projected I understand the pick.  Watson has good size and speed for a middle linebacker.  He should start this year.  If he doesn't, then the reach will hurt.  The Saints could have grabbed Keyaron Fox here (to replace Rodgers) and then drafted Rod Davis or Sean Tufts, two solid run-stuffers in round five.  Leisle was good value in round five.  He had a fourth round grade from me.  He is strong and can be a good run-stuffing defensive tackle.  Karney can block and catch.  He should compliment starting fullback Sam Gash who can block and block some more. Bockwolt has a chance.  The linebackers on the Saints are not world-beaters.  As far as college street free agents are concerned, two to watch are Chris McKelvy, a guard who never reached his full potential in college but has good skills with which to work; and Brent Hafford, who has a good shot at being Tebucky Jones' backup.  Hafford is quick and athletic and could be a valuable player on special teams as well.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Smith DE 6-2½, 267 4.58 - - 7.42 30 38½" 9-9
Smith
Ohio State

#2 ranked DE by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A great workout for Smith.  Depending upon what Udeze does, this could move Smith to the top of the defensive end list. 
NFLFans.com reports: Smith had a tremendous workout and is considered one of the "hot" pro-day workout players in the league. He helped himself a lot in this workout.  The workouts for Ohio were held on a FAST indoor track and this should be considered when looking at the times coming out of this workout.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: There is a terrific debate raging right now over the top two defensive end prospects in next month's draft. Ask 10 personnel directors or scouts about the top guy at the position and five will name Will Smith of Ohio State while the other five cite Southern California standout Kenechi Udeze. There is an increasing possibility now that both will be chosen among the top 12 players next month.   It is tough to choose between the two. Said one scout: "I give the slightest edge to Smith. He reminds me of (Saints defensive end) Darren Howard, but with more pure pass-rush ability. Watching him on tape, he's got that natural skill, closing speed, the knack for getting to the passer. But I like the other guy a lot, too, and it's a tough call."
PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Henderson 5-11¼, 196 4.36 - 4.27 11.27 6.78 - 35½" 10-3
Henderson
LSU

#7 ranked WR by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: Henderson was the star of Mobile (Senior Bowl practices). He has more speed and gets more separation than I remember seeing before. It looks like I was wrong about this guy.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Henderson followed up a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl with a solid game.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports: WR Devery Henderson, Louisiana State... Henderson showed some real YAC capacity after catching the ball; also showed great deep speed and pretty good hands for a former track guy (comments from the Senior Bowl).
www.thehuddlereport.com reports: Devery Henderson - LSU - Quick and fast, good hands, good routes -- possible #2 WR. He gets better and better. He has to learn to get tougher mentally.
Pat Kirwan of NFL.com reports: The wide receiver position is loaded at the top of the draft yet both NFL-men I talked to mentioned how impressed they are with DeVery Henderson from LSU. He may be down around the ninth slot at his position but he's heading up the chart in their eyes. I got a chance to watch two game tapes of him and if there are eight receivers better than him, well, then this is a great receiver draft.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Devery Henderson of LSU might conceivably be chosen ahead of more high profile teammate Michael Clayton after clocking under 4.4 in both his 40s this week.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports Devery Henderson (LSU) is  moving up draft charts.
Brian DeLucia of SportingNews.com reports: Henderson has upside with his natural speed and ability to get downfield. He's not afraid to go inside and get a little dirty, but does need work on setting up defenders and adding overall consistency to his game. He's mostly a vertical receiver who has all the attributes of a big-play guy. I do have some questions with how well he'll adjust to the mental side of the game at the pro level early in his career. I also believe he needs to work harder to add bulk so durability isn't a long-term concern.
Vic Ketchman of  jaguars.com reports: Devery Henderson, 5-11, 198, is the “prototypical West Coast receiver,” Pauline (jaguars.com draft expert) says. “Great explosion, quickness, route-running ability and constantly gets separation. Has really improved his draft stock in the postseason.” Henderson looks like an early second-round selection.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Watson I 6-1½, 237 4.53 4.35 - 7.39 22 36½" 9-6
Watson
Notre Dame

#8 ranked ILB by Jaybird

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Notre Dame's Courtney Watson (MLB), ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds at the combine.
NFLFans.com reports: Watson is a  great athlete who was also a prep basketball star, he has the ability to overcome most of his shortcomings with a good strength and nutritional coach.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Leisle DT 6-3¼, 300 5.19 - 4.67 7.95 31 28" 8-5
Leisle
UCLA

#15 ranked DT by Jaybird

NFLFans.com reports: Leisle (DT)  is exceptionally powerful and strong and has all the tools to be a very good starter in the NFL. He uses his hands good to gain separation. Has excellent leverage and plays with low pads, is quick physical, aggressive, athletic, and has an excellent attitude and work ethics. I have no doubt he will be a first day selection.
PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH 20 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Karney 5-11, 254 4.97 - - - - 25 - -
Karney
Arizona State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: Karney has a big body and ideal size for a fullback. He always seems to be going forward, and he generally wins if he gets his hands on the defender. He also has good hands and has been a solid special team’s player in the past. However, he is not overly nimble and can struggle when trying to block on the move. And his 40-yard dash time and overall athleticism will not strike fear into opposing defenses. But overall, Karney is a fine fullback prospect and may be the best lead blocker of all the fullbacks available in the 2004 NFL Draft.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Bockwoldt O 6-1½,, 230 4.55 - - - 14 - -
Bockwoldt
BYU

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: An excellent looking prospect that could surprise many by going higher than expected in the draft. Most of his experience has been in the WILL position. Unless he can bulk up a little to add the power needed, he may not be able to make the switch to MIKE or SAM if needed, thus limiting his versatility.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
McKelvy G 6-4, 328 - - - - - - -
McKelvy
Penn State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: He has always shown great potential but even though he has had a remarkable career at Penn State has never really fully succeeded in reaching his prospected skill levels. He is one of those players who you roll the dice with. If he has proper coaching, he could be a valuable member of your team, if he wastes his skills and physical tools, does not stay in shape, he could be a total bust. His size and upside along with his versatility should get him on board an NFL roster, it will be up to him to keep the spot.
PLAYER POS HGT-WGHT FORTY SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Hafford FS 5-10¼, 184 4.50 4.03 11.87 7.05 - 34½" 10-2
Hafford
St F Austin

Jaybird: below 4th round

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hafford was a first team all South East (Southland Conference) selection.

 

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

New Orleans
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 6 Sullivan, Johnathan DT 6-3 313 Georgia
2 37 Stinchcomb, Jonathan OT 6-5 302 Georgia
3 86 Grant, Willie 'Cie' OLB 6-0 228 Ohio State
4 102 Holland, Montrae G 6-2 333 Florida State
5 155 Williams, Melvin DE 6-2 269 Kansas State
6 203 Kelly, Kareem WR 6-0 186 Southern California
7 231 Gardner, Talman WR 6-1 205 Florida State

B+

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

Sullivan fills a need and is a good player.  Stinchcomb is a future starter and provides quality depth.  Grant is a great athlete who is an outside linebacker/strong safety 'tweener.  For now, he should be a special teams standout and a nickel linebacker.  Over time, they will get him on the field where he fits best.  Holland was excellent value in round four.  He too, will eventually be a starter in the league.  Kelley and Gardner are similar players and may fight it out for one spot on the Saint's roster.  Both have excellent speed and big-play potential.  Both also have question marks, which is why they fell to rounds six and seven respectively.  Kelly's question mark is consistent hands.  Gardner's is character after his arrest for drugs and gun possession prior to the draft.
Sullivan Gil Brandt, for NFL.com, reports, Johnathan Sullivan of Georgia measured  6-3 5/8, 313 at the combine.
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports Johnathon Sullivan - Georgia: also impressed with a strong workout
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Sullivan stood in at 6-3 3/8 and weighed 312 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.92 and 5.02 seconds, had a 29½-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot, 4-inch broad jump, and lifted the 225-pound bar 24 times.
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, each of the teams I spoke to said Sullivan looked soft.
Stinchcomb Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: It takes more than good bloodlines to play in the NFL and University of Georgia offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb, the brother of Oakland Raiders tackle Matt Stinchcomb, can't count on his name alone to get him drafted. And he certainly won't have to, not after bulking up to a surprising 302 pounds and doing 32 repetitions on the standard 225-pound bench press. There were some serious concerns about Stinchcomb's weight, but he has been working hard with a personal trainer to add tonnage, and his bench press was among the best for offensive linemen.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports OT Jon Stinchcomb (Georgia) helped his draft status at the combine.   Not as good a prospect as his Bulldogs teammate, George Foster, but definitely helped his cause. Showed up at a surprisingly stout 320 pounds, posted a 35-inch vertical jump, a long jump in the 9-feet, 5-inch range, and ran in the low 5.0s. He's always been a very solid guy mechanically as well.
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Stinchcomb  measured  6-5 1/8, weighed 306 pounds, ran the 40 in 5.02 and 5.02 seconds. Best of all, he improved to 35 lifts on the bench.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports:  Offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb continues to help himself, following up a very strong combine performance with a terrific workout that included 35 "reps" in the standard 225-pound bench press.
Grant (SS) WORKOUT NUMBERS Great Blue North (GBNReport.com) reports, according to the The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State OLB Cie Grant, ran in the 4.3's at pro day. (Gil Brandt of NFL.com had these numbers: Grant stood at 6-0½ and weighed 230 pounds. He ran 40 times of 4.52 and 4.49 seconds. He did 21 benches and did the rest of his workout at the Combine)
Holland WORKOUT NUMBERS   Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, OG Holland was listed at 6-foot-1½, 326 pounds. He ran 5.19, had a 28-inch vertical jump, and a 9-foot-6 long jump.
Kelly WORKOUT NUMBERS  Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Kareem Kelly's' pro day numbers: 4.32 and 4.31 forty, 3.98 short shuttle, 7.32 3 cone, but showed inconsistent hands.
Gardner WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Gardner came in at 6-0¾ and 209 pounds. He ran 4.33 with the spikes and 4.38 without the spikes.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : B


Stallworth will be a star.  The Brooks/Stallworth could be record-setting.  Hopefully, Horn will not have a problem as Stallworth flys by him as the Saints'  number one option.  Grant should start but is he the answer?  There are questions about his ability to rush the QB.  Bentley was a solid pick in round two.  He will help.   Allen is a good athlete who could eventually push for a starting job.  Craver is a better football player than workout warier.  Another good selection by the Saints.  QB O'Sullivan is an interesting prospect.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team.

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 13 Stallworth, Donte' WR 6-0 197 Tennessee
1 25 Grant, Charles DE 6-3 282 Georgia
2 44 Bentley, LeCharles C 6-2 299 Ohio State
3 82 Allen, James OLB 6-3 240 Oregon State
4 125 Craver, Keyuo CB 5-11 201 Nebraska
5 150 Mitchell, Mel FS 6-1 220 Western Kentucky
6 186 O'Sullivan, J.T. QB 6-2 223 California-Davis
6 196 Gilmore, John TE 6-3 265 Penn State
7 224 Monroe, Derrius DE 6-4 269 Virginia Tech

Click here to go to 900 Football Links prospect news to check out more info