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Winwin 01-25-2006 06:48 PM

SR Preview
2006 NFL DRAFT PREVIEW Vol. I Posted by: [Andrus] on Today @ 10:21 AM
By Scott Balot - Staff Writer

If there is any consolation to the 2005 Saints season and their lowly record of 3-13, it’s having the second pick in this year’s NFL draft. This year’s draft looks to be one of the strongest in years, which bodes well for a team that has many needs. There will be more holes to fill once free agency starts and new head coach Sean Payton determines which personnel changes are needed. While the Saints will try to fill some spots through free agency, the most successful teams in the NFL still build through the draft.


This year’s draft looks to be one of the better drafts in recent history. “ It has some real depth to it, and while there are some spots like wide receiver, offensive center and guards, along with middle linebacker, that you would like more players at, the junior class was strong, and it has bolstered this crop,� said Mike Detillier, NFL Draft analyst.

While the number of players that carry a first round grade are not unusually high, Detillier states that the real find in this years draft are after the second round. “The thing that sticks out is the larger amount of players that graded out as second and third round choices,� said Detillier. “Those numbers are up, and that means some real meat in this draft in the middle rounds. The value will be in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds,� said Detillier.


This year’s draft, while deep in the middle, will initially be remembered for the big three: Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Vince Young. They are considered the best of a solid first round, which includes D’Brickshaw Ferguson, AJ Hawk, and DeAngelo Williams. Detillier compares this year’s top group to the famous 1989 draft, which included several Hall of Fame players. “That one had Troy Aikman, Tony Mandarich, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders, and Barry Sanders at the top of the draft,� said Detillier. All but Mandarich went on to have stellar NFL careers.

With the Saints having the second pick in the draft, they are guaranteed to land one of the marquee players. The key to their success hinges on selecting the next Troy Aikman or Barry Sanders and not the next Tony Mandarich. In fact, when looking back at the past drafts leading back to 1990, there is at least one person in each draft selected in the top three picks that have not gone on to be big time players, whether it was due to injury and/or lack of production.


One of the biggest dilemmas Saints’ fans have questioned is whether the Saints should stay with their current pick in the first round or trade down to acquire more picks. Since the best values in the draft are at the top of the first round and the middle rounds, perhaps the best scenario would be for the Saints to stay put in the first round, and try to trade down for extra picks with their second round pick. Detillier thinks this is the best scenario for the Saints. “The second round pick is the wildcard for the Saints. I would not trade out of the two spot in round one, but I would really hang that second round pick (34th overall) out there to see if a team would be willing to give me an extra pick (try to recoup that 3rd round pick) and deal down a few spots in the second round,� said Detillier.

Currently, the Saints hold the second pick of all seven rounds with the exception of the third round pick, which was traded to the Houston Texans last year in order to move up three spots to select Jammal Brown. The Saints could be eligible for compensatory picks in the middle rounds due to the loss of free agents last season. The league has not issued those picks out, but when they do, the Saints may see more than normally expected due to Hurricane Katrina. “Hopefully, the NFL will supply the Saints with a few extra compensatory selections. Paul Tagliabue has already brought this possibility up, and then you could stockpile those selections in the middle rounds,� stated Detillier.

Extra picks in the middle to later rounds could really make the 2006 even more memorable for the New Orleans Saints. It’s safe to say that this year’s draft will be more scrutinized than any other in the past, particularly with a new coaching staff, and the franchise’s future in New Orleans uncertain. It’s also a good bet to say that this draft is the most important in the franchise’s history. While it will be important for General Manager Mickey Loomis to gain fan interest with the draft picks, his ultimate task it to make sure he makes every pick count in order to generate the biggest box office smash: a winner.

hagan714 01-25-2006 09:06 PM

RE: SR Preview
I like it but i am not so sold on sitting on #2 still. If and only IF those extra picks are given I would use as many as i could to get back into the mid and high second and 3rd rounds. There are going to be some great talent with next year impact player stamped on them. Add in some dead wood from our team and we can move up and get up to three 2nd round picks and 2 thirds. That would change the chemistry of the team for years to come and FA would want to come here.
1 in the first
2 in the second
2 in the third
1 in the fourth
i will be a happy camper. Espically if we can get a #1 next year also based on the hype factore at #2.

Winwin 01-26-2006 04:06 PM

RE: SR Preview
compensatory picks can't be traded...

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