ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
sportsline.com\'s more in depth veiw of the Saints draft:
New Orleans Saints Draft Report Card
April 30, 2003
The Sports Network
(Sports Network) - The Saints threw the first curveball of the 2003 draft when they traded their two first-rounders (17 and 18) to Arizona in exchange for the sixth overall pick. The twist came when New Orleans went with DT Johnathan Sullivan over a defensive back. New Orleans expects the rookie lineman to step in and start immediately. The club traded DT Norman Hand after the draft to clear a spot for Sullivan, who entered the draft after his junior season.
The 6-foot-3, 313-pound Sullivan has the ability to clog the middle a create some problems for opponents along the line. It will be interesting to see if Sullivan turns out to be better than Kevin Williams, Jimmy Kennedy and Ty Warren -- three DTs taken in the top 13 after Sullivan. The Saints stayed on the Georgia campus when they selected OT Jon Stinchcomb in the second round.
Stinchcomb has excellent mechanics but lacks the overall talent of a Kyle Turley. However, he can play guard or tackle and has room to grow. Cie Grant, who played safety, cornerback and linebacker at OSU, should fit in well at middle linebacker. The Saints love his athleticism, speed and instincts. Grant will make a big impact on special teams as a rookie. The club made another good value pick in the fourth round -- OG Montrae Holland. The former Florida State standout is a road-grader of a guard. He gets an excellent push and has the ability to dominate as a run blocker. His weight and mobility could limit him early in his career. Fifth-rounder Melvin Williams, who is recovering from a knee injury, is built in the mold of Darren Howard. His health is a concern.
The Saints made a huge splash late in the draft with the selections of WRs Kareem Kelly and Talman Gardner. Both players were projected to be second- or third-round picks; Gardner fell because of off-field problems. Kelly and Gardner will both get the chance to make the roster.
2003 Draft Picks: (1st round-6th overall) DT-Johnathan Sullivan, Georgia; (2-37) OT-Jon Stinchcomb, Georgia; (3-86) LB-Cie Grant, Ohio State; (4-102) OG-Montrae Holland, Florida State; (5-155) DE-Melvin Williams, Kansas State; (6-203) WR-Kareem Kelly, USC; (7-231) WR-Talman Gardner, Florida State.
Overall Draft Grade: B+
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