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tiggerpolice 01-02-2006 03:37 PM

Saints miss out on top pick
Saints miss out on top pick
But No. 2 could be QB of the future
Monday, January 02, 2006
By Mike Triplett
Staff writer
TAMPA, FLA. -- Thanks to a 3-13 finish -- their worst since 1999 -- the Saints landed the rights to the No. 2 pick in April's NFL draft.

The Saints narrowly missed out on the No. 1 pick when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Houston Texans 20-17 in overtime Sunday evening.

With a 2-14 record, the Texans "won" what has been dubbed the "Reggie Bush Sweepstakes," as most experts agree the Southern California junior tailback will be the No. 1 pick in the draft.

That makes Bush's teammate, USC quarterback Matt Leinart, the most likely pick for the Saints, because they are expected to make a change at that position after benching longtime starter Aaron Brooks for the final three games of this season.

Other players expected to rank among the draft's elite are Virginia offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk, Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams and Texas quarterback Vince Young.

Young and Bush, both juniors, have not yet declared themselves eligible for the draft.

The Saints could look to trade the pick -- as they did the last time they had the No. 2 choice in 1997. In Coach Mike Ditka's first year with the team, he swapped picks with Oakland, moving down to No. 10 for two extra draft picks and wide receiver Daryl Hobbs.

That year, the Saints drafted offensive guard Chris Naeole.

Only twice in team history have the Saints selected a player in the top two. They drafted tailback George Rogers with the first pick in the 1981 draft, and in 1971 they selected quarterback Archie Manning with the No. 2 pick.

MordorIV 01-02-2006 09:09 PM

RE: Saints miss out on top pick
GO Leinart! for the Saints.

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