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They can't mess this one up

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints fans have been down this road before. They’ve got the photos and the T-shirts to prove it. A really rotten season results in a high draft pick, giving the Saints a chance to turn everything around with one smart ...

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Old 04-24-2006, 08:17 AM   #1
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They can't mess this one up

Saints fans have been down this road before.

They’ve got the photos and the T-shirts to prove it.

A really rotten season results in a high draft pick, giving the Saints a chance to turn everything around with one smart move.

And faster than you can say George W. Bush, they screw it up.

Remember in 1997, when they swapped spots with the Raiders, giving Oakland the second pick in the draft in exchange for the 10th pick?

The Raiders used the No. 2 pick on USC defensive tackle Darrell Russell, who earned Pro Bowl selections in 1998 and ’99 before drug problems did him in. He was killed in a car crash in 2005.

New Orleans, which was in need of a running back, passed over Baton Rouge native Warrick Dunn, and we all know what he’s done. The Saints, could’ve also used a tight end, but decided to take a flyer on Tony Gonzalez. He’ll have his bust displayed in Canton, Ohio five years after he retires.

With Willie Roaf the only decent tackle on the team, New Orleans could’ve used somebody like Tarik Glenn. Ask Peyton Manning what he thinks of Mr. Glenn.

Instead, the Saints spent the 10th pick of the draft on Chris Naoele, a guard out of Colorado who most scouts thought wouldn’t hear his name called any earlier than the second round. But then Saints coach Mike Ditka liked him because he threw a chair through a chalkboard during a halftime temper tantrum while at Colorado.

We know how well that worked out.

And for all those who think that was an isolated incident, I’ve got two words for you: Russell Erxleben. Not enough? Here’s two more: Lindsay Scott.

Get the picture?

Well, the Saints have another chance to get it right. The NFL draft is Saturday, and New Orleans has the second pick after a miserable 3-13 season.

The Saints have a new coach, Sean Payton, and a new quarterback, Drew Brees.

They also have more holes to fill than a Louisiana highway.

Pick a postion, any position. Offensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end, defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker and cornerback.

All speculation is the Saints have their eyes on North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams, who is scouts believe will develop into the NFL’s next dominant pass rusher, massive Virginia offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Fergueson and Ohio State All-American linebacker A.J. Hawk.

And since the hole at quarterback was filled with the release of Aaron Brooks and the signing of Brees (depending on how healthy his surgically-repaired shoulder is), conventional wisdom says swap spots with another team in the top eight who is desperate to take USC quarterback Matt Leinart or Texas quarterback Vince Young.

The problem is, that might not happen. The Titans, who are in the midst of a breakup with quarterback Steve McNair that’s so ugly it makes Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s look like minor disagreement, are sitting at the three spot. The Jets, who traded for former Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey, are also in the market and under pressure from their fans to take Leinart. They have the fourth pick, but don’t seem to be too desperate to grab the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner from USC.

And then there are the Raiders again, and word is Al Davis giddy about Young. I mean Tom Cruise-over-Katie Holmes-type giddy. And instead of jumping on sofas during talk shows, Davis is reportedly thinking about trading up with the Saints. Going from the seventh spot to the second position to take Rose Bowl MVP Young.

But so far, the Saints haven’t made a deal with anyone. And they might not.

Regardless, the Saints’ primary objective in the first round is to come away with either Williams, Fergueson or Hawk. If they do that, then had good first round.

And if they do that and get an extra first-round pick and fill another hole with it, that would be like going to a party with Jessica Alba on one arm and Alicia Keys on the other. What more can you ask for?

If they don’t, well, it’s just another sorry chapter in the Saints’ laughable draft history.

And after last season, with the franchise’s future so uncertain, they can’t afford to mess this one up.
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