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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks could be picked even higher than his twin brother, Saints safety Josh Bullocks Sibling rivalry? Safeties Josh and Daniel Bullocks don't want to hear about it. Even the suggestion that Daniel has a burning desire to ...

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Old 04-22-2006, 08:46 AM   #1
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Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks could be picked even higher than his twin brother, Saints safety Josh Bullocks

Sibling rivalry?

Safeties Josh and Daniel Bullocks don't want to hear about it.

Even the suggestion that Daniel has a burning desire to go higher in the draft than his twin brother, who was taken by the Saints in the second round last year with the 40th overall pick, is quickly rejected.

"Going higher than Josh is a good goal for me because he did so well," said Daniel, who stayed at Nebraska for his senior season although Josh, the younger brother by one minute, was an early entry. "But that's just because you want to go as high as you can. It doesn't have anything to do with wanting to outdo Josh."

It's been that way for a long time.

"They've never been competitive against each other," said their mother, Gerline Williams. "They'd rather pick each other up than tear each other down. They're so close it's like there's two bodies but just one person."

Not wishing to compete against each other was a large part of the reason Daniel didn't follow his brother into the draft last year.

That, and the fact that he was rated no better than a third- or fourth-round selection at the time. While his physical skills were evident, Daniel needed technique work.

But now, Daniel does have a chance to better his brother in the draft.

A solid senior season and a good week at the Senior Bowl followed by an even better one at the NFL combine, where his 40-yard dash time of 4.38 seconds was tops among all safeties (and faster than Josh's 4.46 at the 2005 combine), has increased Daniel's status to the point where one mock draft has him going to Pittsburgh with the final pick of the first round.

Pro Football Weekly ranks Bullocks third among safeties behind Jason Allen of Tennessee and Donte Whitner of Ohio State and an upper-level second-round pick.

Others have him going much lower, including NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan, who projects Bullocks going to Tampa Bay with the 59th pick.

"Safety is a pretty saturated position, so you get a lot of guys locked in with about the same grades," Kirwan said. "I see Daniel as a height, weight and speed guy who doesn't have the instincts of his brother. That's not an insult. He still has a very good chance to have a long career."

One thing for certain is that Daniel is a better player than he was a year ago -- and not just physically.

Last season was the first time Daniel and Josh had been separated. From T-ball onward in their hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn., they always had been on the same team. They were a package deal to Nebraska, where Daniel played strong safety and Josh played free safety.

But without his brother around (they did talk on the phone daily, usually more than once), Daniel said he became a better teammate.

"Josh and I pretty much kept to each other," said Daniel, who was chosen a team captain. "But as a senior I knew I needed to be a leader. And that meant getting closer to everyone on the team. I did a lot more film work, too, rather than just relying on my talent."

His coaches noticed the change.

"I know they're twins, but Daniel had always seemed like Josh's little brother," said Nebraska secondary coach Phil Elmassian. "But once they were separated, it was like 'Let me see if I can do this on my own.'

"It wasn't like his brother was dragging him around by his coattails. But I think he wanted that challenge."

Daniel spread his wings a bit at Nebraska, but he has followed his brother's lead since -- signing with the same agents, Los Angeles-based Josh Luchs and Steve Feldman, and going through the same pre-combine training regimen.

And not surprisingly, Josh has acted as his brother's closest adviser on how to handle preparing for the draft.

"I was able to tell him exactly how it would be in the combine, what kind of questions he would get, every little thing I could think of," Josh Bullocks said. "The main thing was to do everything as well as you can because if you don't, the rest won't be any good, either."

Josh Bullocks, who gained a starting berth with the Saints three games into last season when Jay Bellamy went down with a torn rotator cuff, wouldn't mind seeing his brother become a teammate again.

"It would be perfect," he said. "Just like a dream come true. If the Saints think they got a good player with me, they'd be getting another one with Daniel."

However, that seems unlikely to happen even though the Saints had Daniel in New Orleans this week for a private workout.

The Saints already have acquired one veteran safety with a trade for Bryan Scott, and although rebuffed in their attempt to sign free-agent Keith Davis are considered unlikely to use their second-round pick, No. 34 overall, on a safety.

And by the time the Saints pick in the third round, Daniel most likely will be gone.

Regardless, on draft day the Bullocks brothers will be exactly where they were last year -- side-by-side on their mother's couch in Chattanooga.

"We were all kind of nervous that day," Josh recalled. "When I got the phone call from the Saints it was the biggest release I've ever felt in my life. I know with Daniel it's going to be exactly the same way

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