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iceshack149 04-27-2003 08:36 PM

Saints Draft History

Saints recent Draft successes: A recap

The Saints have made the most of their draft choices over the last three years since the arrival of Coach Jim Haslett. The club has selected quality players throughout the draft, and the players picked over the last three years now represent the foundation of the club on both sides of the ball. It’s also worth noting the Saints traded their third-round choice in 2001 for QB Aaron Brooks. A look back:

Round 2: DE Darren Howard – Left without a first- and third-round picks because of the trade for RB Ricky Williams the year before, the Saints still struck gold with the selection of Howard at 33rd overall. Howard went on to earn NFL All-Rookie honors by posting a Saints rookie-record 11 sacks. No player in club history has recorded more than Howard’s 25 sacks after three seasons with the Saints.

Round 4: FB Terrelle Smith – The former college linebacker has started 26 of 44 games since being selected 96th overall. He has emerged as one of the NFL’s top blocking backs over the last three seasons.

Round 6b: CB Michael Hawthorne – A quick cornerback with the size that NFL scouts are looking for, Hawthorne has played in 28 games in his career. He started four contests in 2002 before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
Round 7: LS Kevin Houser – Picked 228th overall, Houser has become one of the league’s most consistent long-snappers. He has been a cog on the special teams units.

Round 1: RB Deuce McAllister – After a year serving as the club’s kick returner, McAllister left no doubt in his second season that he was primed to become the Saints’ featured back in 2002. He posted eight 100-yard games last season while rushing for an NFC-high 1,388 yards and added 47 catches for 352 yards. He scored 16 touchdowns and was voted a starter in the Pro Bowl.

Round 3a: LB Sedrick Hodge – The speedy defender started all 16 games in 2002 and posted a career-high 88 tackles and eight passes defensed.
Round 3b: DT Kenny Smith – Picked 81st overall, the young lineman emerged as a contributor in 2002, posting a career-high 3.5 sacks.

Round 1a: WR Donte’ Stallworth – Selected 13th overall, Stallworth supplied immediate impact by hauling in an NFL rookie-high eight touchdowns, which was also a team record for rookies. Two of his scoring grabs were game-winners late in the fourth quarter as he posted 42 catches for 594 yards (14.1 yards per catch).

Round 1b: DE Charles Grant – The Saints’ second first-round pick (25th overall) finished second on the club and among NFC rookies with seven sacks. He started six games and played in all 16. Grant added four forced fumbles and scooped up a loose ball at Carolina and rumbled 34 yards for a touchdown.

Round 2: G LeCharles Bentley – Became the first rookie offensive lineman to start opening day for New Orleans. Named to several All-Rookie teams and picked as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

Round 3: LB James Allen – Oregon State product expected to vie for starting spot at outside linebacker in 2003. Solid special teams performer scored a game-winning touchdown on an interception in opener at Tampa Bay.

Round 4: CB Keyuo Craver – Rookie defensive back was a cog in pass defense before injury forced him to miss six games. Had a fumble return for touchdown, one of four rookies to score TDs in 2002.

Round 5: S Mel Mitchell – Lanky defender was one of the Saints’ best special teams performers last season, posting 25 tackles. Cover skills and speed make him a player to watch at safety in the future.

Round 6a: QB J.T. O’Sullivan – Spent the year learning at third quarterback position, but has impressed coaching staff with quick mind and savvy in the pocket.

I hope that next year we'll be able to look back on this years draft and be just as pleased.

JOESAM2002 04-27-2003 08:54 PM

Saints Draft History
Ice, today you are THE man with your posts. Kepp\'em coming.

LordOfEntropy 04-27-2003 08:55 PM

Saints Draft History
I\'ve got to question the part about Hodge in that article. I know he started in those games, but that doesn\'t mean he played NFL caliber.

I\'ve noticed the Saints official site often details positive items, but holds back on the negatives. Things that could have a negative slant rarely seem to get posted there.

Regardless, it was a good post. It shows clearly how little Haz has had to work with since taking over for Ditka. One thing you\'ve got to give him - we\'re in a helluva lot better shape than we were when Ditka had the reins.

Kudo\'s to Haz if for nothing more than that alone.

WhoDat 04-27-2003 10:20 PM

Saints Draft History
What\'s amazing about that is that you\'re looking at ten starters at their positions and another three guys who have significant playing time in 14 picks. Only O\'Sullivan doesn\'t see the field normally (or at least is scheduled to this season).

That can be looked at one of two ways. Way one - that Haslett and Co. are great talent evaluators and we should expect nothing but good things from this draft.

The other way to look at it is that the Saints have let all of their experienced and proven talent go and have been forced to turn to young, unproven, possibly questionable players.

Let\'s hope the Saints are right about these guys and the ones we drafted this year.

JOESAM2002 04-27-2003 10:24 PM

Saints Draft History
Amen. I guess it\'s kinda like an optimist and a pessimist. Half full or half empty. We\'ll know soon enough I guess.

LordOfEntropy 04-27-2003 10:24 PM

Saints Draft History
Hear hear. My point with Hodge exactly.

lumm0x 04-27-2003 11:16 PM

Saints Draft History
This means Randy Mueller was a great evaluator of talent. If Haslett and Loomis are....that remains to be seen. I believe that everyone of these players will be excellent contributors on this team. I just have to shake my head a bit at how we got them and what was passed over. I do know that all of you are right about what \"we laymen\" want compared to what the professionals know. It\'s just hard not to set your sights on certain players you feel are \"needs\" for this team and watch them get ignored.

F.B.Wiz 04-28-2003 03:13 AM

Saints Draft History
WhoDAT. you said that one possible reason the Saints picks have seen significant playing time is because they have let their expereienced or proven players go. I thought it would be fun to see who on the roster they replaced. I think you will agree that this possibility is not a reality.
Draft picks and who they replaced.

Darren Howard - Jared Tomich (Ditka loved the fact that his motor was always running but unfortunatly he didn\'t have any wheels)
Terrell Smith - Aaron Craver/Wilmont Perry (WILMONT PERRY! I Don\'t need to say more.. Just his name makes me laugh)
Michael Hawthorne - Tyrone Drakeford/Earl Little (We might as well have played William \"Dirty\" Strong)
Deuce Mcallister - Ricky Williams (I am not touching this one)
Sedrick Hodge - Mark Fields (OKAY, he can chase down Isaac Bruce but can he chase down another job? The last 3 years he failed miserably with the Saints, Rams, and Panthers)
Donte\' Stallworth - Albert Connell (HEY! Has anybody seen my wallett?)
Charles Grant - Joe Johnson (I will be amazed if his knees hold up for 2 more years and don\'t forget he only played what... 1 game last year!)
LeCharles Bentley - Chris Neaoli (Did I spell that right? 3rd round talent at best wrapped into a 1st round coconut bust)
James Allen - Keith Mitchell (He will be lucky to keep his job with the expansion Texans if he already hasn\'t been cut)
Keyuo Craver - Fred Weary (I love Fred Weary but he will never be the same after that injury)
Mel Mitchell - Sammy Knight (Mel has the physical tools we always wished Sammy had. Lets just hope that Mel has the smarts that Sammy has.)

I hope you will agree, whodat, that these draft picks are simply better than the bums they replaced.

subguy 04-28-2003 06:56 AM

Saints Draft History
F.B. Wiz I don\'t agree in all cases. Also bums is kinda harsh for the likes of Ricky Williams,Joe Johnson,Mark Fields,Sammy Knight. Just because someone has \"failed\" miserably, in your opinion, for the last 3 years does not make them a bum any more than the fact their name makes you laugh. We have let some key experienced players go without replacing them with at least equal experience. We have done a horrible job in Free Agency this year. With the exception of Conwell and probably Jones. If you really look at our past you will see,we have a tendency to let developed players go. I think alot of this has to do with $$$. You draft a player,then you sit him for a year or two,then you let him have a good year and then either he wants too much money or is not happy and wants to leave. You must look at \"all\" of the intangibles.

WhoDat 04-28-2003 07:41 AM

Saints Draft History
Sorry FB - I can\'t agree with you. I\'m thinking about our defense from a few years back versus now. Let\'s just look at the starting lineup from Ditka\'s last year... which, I don\'t think anyone will argue was a GOOD year.

DL - Joe Johnson, La\'Roi Glover, Wayne Martin, Brady Smith - we also had Whitehead in reserve. OK - I understand that Martin was old, but this group is potentially ALL pro bowlers. Our defensive line now is the BEST part of our defense today and while they may grow into being players of this caliber, they certainly are not there now.

I can\'t remember our linebackers exactly, but I think we had the Mitchell bros. playing... Kevin Mitchell, Keith Mitchell, and Mark Fields. Let\'s just take the two I know were there and compare them to the two most experienced players on our LB corp. Who is better? Mark Fields and Keith Mitchell or Orlando Ruff and Sedrick Hodge? Not to mention we added Clemons the next year, I believe. If they had held on to Fields we would have had him playing next to Clemons... a guy who led the team in tackles and sacks.

At corner in 1999... sound familiar... Ashley Ambrose... and Fred Weary. Assuming Carter can play up to par we are probably better off now, but who knows by how much. Consider the starters last season... who do you take? Hawthorne and Thomas or Weary and Ambrose?

Finally, safety. In 1999 you\'re looking at Sammy Knight and I believe Rob Kelly. It\'s going to be really hard to make an evaluation on this year\'s safeties vs. 1999\'s. I personally like Kelly a lot. I love Knight. Then again, I understand the knock on him and like the prospects that Jones and Mitchell bring.

My point is, that the defense on a, what, 3-13 team was better, at least talent wise, than it is today. You really don\'t know if the guys playing now are playing b/c they are actually BETTER players (which I doubt in many cases), or b/c they have to b/c we let good players leave. In any case, the problem remains that the defense is not very talented. We have one last shot to try to help that, but I fear little will be done. I think this team might be better this year, but it will have the same problems it had last year. A QB whose play is inconsistent... injuries have the potential to destroy us again... and a defense that will get chewed up and spit out. Let\'s just hope that there\'s not another collapse.

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