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get to know ROMAN HARPER

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I don't think anyone would compare him to a veteran like Smith. If Smith stays, fine, he can learn the ropes under him. I do not think they would have picked Harper if Smith was going to be kept however. ...

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Old 05-02-2006, 08:34 AM   #21
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I don't think anyone would compare him to a veteran like Smith. If Smith stays, fine, he can learn the ropes under him. I do not think they would have picked Harper if Smith was going to be kept however. I certainly would choose Smith first. I'm not in that position though and his departure certainly seems to be more than a light rumor or speculation. Maybe things will change and he'll stay. My sense of Harper after reading every report I could find is that he is more of the headhunter variety rather than ballhawk safety- ala Lynch or Harrison. Sure tackler, intangibles second to none, so intelligent he is like a coach on the field, never out of position. Coverage skills will be the make or break issue whether he can be a legit NFL all around player.
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Old 05-02-2006, 11:11 AM   #22
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At first glance, this was a pick that made you go, "WTF!" But look deeper, and it makes a lot of sense. First off, this is a good football player. Despite what many of you have been spoon-fed, he's not "slow." He's a 4.50-4.55 guy, which means he's plenty fast enough to play safety in the NFL. Furthermore, he was a leader on Alabama's excellent defense, a character guy with great ball skills and tackling abilities. He's got good size, good enough speed, and has the intangibles. Some feel he's a bit of a reach this high, but where are you getting your information, ESPN? The draftniks? You don't know how highly he was regarded by NFL front offices, and the 'niks said the same thing about Josh Bullocks, who was our starter at free safety last year. Josh's brother Daniel, who as Josh's twin was rated almost identically, was selected three picks ahead of Harper, and according to some sources that I do trust, Harper is actually the better player.

Here's the real question mark---the number of safeties on our roster right now. But remember: Dwight Smith is being shopped around, and Jay Bellamy is ancient. Steve Gleason has been rumored to be on his way out as well. We did sign a few safeties, but who knows if they'll make the team or not. And as for safeties being suddenly popular, it isn't just the Saints but an NFL-wide trend---just look all the safeties who were drafted this year. Look at freaking Buffalo, who took a borderline second round safety with the eighth overall pick. In the end, I anticipate us starting Bullocks at free safety this year, with Harper playing strong safety. And I think we'll like what we see on the field from that tandem.
Final Grade: A-
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:08 PM   #23
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I would call that a healthy dose of kool-aid Kells, but whatever makes you happy man, go with it. The dude was a reach, plain and simple. Now, he may turn out to be one of our best safeties ever, and if so, good for him. But he was still a reach, and nothing from off the field between now and the first game can change that. He will have to change that impression himself come week one of the season.
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:23 PM   #24
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Just posting takes I find them. As I have a little more firsthand knowledge of LSU players I figure many others have more experience watching this kid in game to game action. I know most of the draftniks out there are just lemmings repeating what each other says.

For the record, I do think the move to #43 and get a center was wise. At that point if I was the GM I would have chosen CB Youboty or Marshall or Winston or McNeil OTs.
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