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Jay Ross - This year's diamond in the rough

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Posted 05-03-2010 at 09:00 PM by saintsfan1976
Updated 05-03-2010 at 11:33 PM by Halo

Evans, Colston, Nicks, Thomas. Names we know. And not only because they were drafted by the Saints. Who knows if any of the previously mentioned players would have achieved the same level of success they experienced in New Orleans, but they certainly each had the ability. (Thank you scouting department)

If there's one aspect of this team's front office I am absolutely enamored with it's the ability to find value in the later rounds and post-draft. Why do you think it is that these all-but-forgotten players to develop into top performers after they arrive in New Orleans? Chip on the shoulder? Coaching? The "right system"? Or maybe Payton and company are just that good at motivating a player to helping him reach his full potential.

Whatever the case may be, our staff has proven that in each season they will find one of the NFL's quintessential "diamonds in the rough".

My pick for the 2010 draft is Jay Ross - DT from East Carolina University.

An academic non-qualifier out of New Hanover, Ross couldn’t practice during his first year in Greenville, so he used the time to establish strong study habits and transform his body into that of a Division I down lineman. He added 80 pounds, eating anything, everything, bulking up to 325 pounds on a 6-foot-3 frame.

And in 2006 as a freshman, he appeared in 11 games and started two.

Ross thought he had a bad shin splint in his right leg during the 2008 season. It started hurting in the opener, a victory over Virginia Tech. It kept hurting, but he kept the pain to himself. After the season, he went in for an X-ray. Broken.

Ross started 13 games, absorbed double teams, plugged rushing lanes, chased quarterbacks, made 9.5 tackles for loss, recovered two fumbles, excelled in the biggest games – all with a broken leg.

“He comes off the ball quicker than just about anybody I’ve ever coached in 23 years,” coach Rock Roggeman said. “He’s got a great knack for that and it enables him to penetrate and make those plays.”

And it's not just what Ross does for himself but how he helps in developing his young freshman teammates. He's not a "rah-rah" type player, but he remains a leader who is well respected in the locker room.

In 2009, Ross helped anchor a defensive line that allowed their last three opponents to 63 yds rushing and the longest run in 5 games was 22 yards.

That season helped cement Ross as a pass rusher and a run stuffer. Through 11 games, he has tallied 1.5 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss. While those numbers are down a little, Ross is still a quality and versatile player who will do whatever his team needs him to do. In fact, Ross even has an interception under his belt in 2009.

Part of the lack of production in 2009 can be attributed to a nagging leg injury that he played through during most of the 2008 campaign. He sat out in the spring of 2009 and that may have set him back a little bit.

I look for Jay Ross to immediately push Demario Pressley for the right to rotate with our starters and eventually become an impact player on our defensive line.




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  1. Old Comment
    diamond12's Avatar
    Nice choice....Jay Ross is a very advance player ,,good skills...but what about TE jimmy Grahm? Man,,this guy has got it all,,the tools,,the size ,,,the hands. Throw it up and he'll more than come down with it.
    Posted 07-01-2010 at 08:11 PM by diamond12 diamond12 is offline

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