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Mike Detillier's Evaluation of the Saints Draft

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I'm not going to link it since the only other place I have found it is at SR if you are interested. (bold mine) I am grading the New Orleans Saints draft a strong B+. Reggie Bush was the best ...

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Old 05-01-2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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Mike Detillier's Evaluation of the Saints Draft

I'm not going to link it since the only other place I have found it is at SR if you are interested.
(bold mine)

I am grading the New Orleans Saints draft a strong

Reggie Bush was the best player in this draft and
the player that could have more effect on a team than
any other one available. In my 21 years of scouting
the only two backs that had this type of impact in
college was Bo Jackson at Auburn and Barry Sanders at
Oklahoma State.

He is just an electrifying performer who can score
from anywhere out on the field. While he is a great
runner and return man, he will really make a huge
impact as a receiver or potential receiver. Any team
that will try and match up with him as a receiver will
not be able to do it with a linebacker or safety. He
is the best receiver as a back I have ever seen and
that includes Marshall Faulk coming out of San Diego

You will have to use a third-cornerback to cover him
and while you are trying to cover him, it will really
open up some huge holes in the running game. Any time
you have to take a LB. or safety off the field and use
a cornerback in coverage it takes a good tackler off
the field and Deuce McAllister will no longer have to
see as many 8-man fronts

With his combination of running skills, pass catching
ability and return ability he is the best all-around
college back I have ever scouted. Instant impact
performer and someone who has the skills to be a truly
"great" NFL player.

In the 2nd round the Saints wanted to trade down and
acquire OC. Jeff Faine. They had targeted Miami (Fla.)
LB. Rocky McIntosh
, but the Washington Redskins
scooted up ahead of them and selected him.
As many in the NFL feel the Saints are putting a
premium on the safety position and this is why they
selected Alabama's Roman Harper.

There is no doubt that Dwight Smith is on very thin
ice and the team will try and trade him away
. Last
summer Bama defensive coordinator Joe Kines described
Harper to me as a " New England Patriot-player, smart,
instinctive, tough guy and someone with a great feel
for the game."

Harper is very instinctive and he is strong in run
support. While he needs to further his overall
coverage skills, Roman has good coverage instincts and
he plays the ball well in flight.

A few weeks back on one of my Houma Courier columns I
mentioned the dinner conversation I had with Saints GM
Mickey Loomis about then-Notre Dame center Jeff Faine.

Mickey at that time said that the team had Faine
rated higher than they did LeCharles Bentley and he
thought he would be a "great" NFL players.
Injuries and poor initial coaching have stymied his
progress, but if Faine is healthy, he is a very good
center prospect.

In the 4th round I believe the Saints reached a bit
for Bloomsburg OT./OG. Jahri Evans. I really would
have liked to see the team pick LSU DT. Kyle Williams
instead. Evans is a big, strong run blocker, who
excels as a drive blocker, but he needs plenty of work
on his pass blocking skills and techniques. He will
probably see initial work at offensive guard.

The addition of Hollis Thomas from Philly gives the
team a big, strong run stuffer who will give them
another big body in the middle. The ten-year veteran
excels in run support and he knows how to clog up the
inside running lanes. He also is known for being a
team leader and one that doesn't let younger players
get away with not giving their all. That is something
this team needs.

Purdue DE. Rob Ninkovich is undersized, but he is a
terrific edge pass rusher and an outstanding team
. In two seasons at Purdue Rob accounted for 16
QB. sacks and 26 ½ tackles for losses. He just has a
knack for slipping blocks and getting to the QB. Very
intense player, who gives great effort and he should
help out in pass rush situations and on special teams.
Purdue head coach Joe Tiller just raved about him to
me and rarely does Tiller go overboard about any

Oregon State's Mike Hass is not the biggest, fastest
or quickest receiver around, but he is sure-handed, an
outstanding route runner and he has such good moves he
actually corkscrews cornerbacks into the turf. Hass
has excellent hands and he knows how to set up DB's
extremely well. While Hass is not super fast, he did
average 17.8 yards per catch over the past three
years. Smart, great leader and he just loves to play
this game.

Pittsburgh's Josh Lay is a well-coached cornerback,
who has good size and he matches up well against the
bigger WR's. Very instinctive cover-man, who reacts
quickly to what is breaking down in front of him. Lay
has good, but not great foot speed and he needs to
upgrade his overall tackling skills. He is smart,
instinctive and he has good football genes, his cousin
is All-Pro cornerback Ty Law. Very competitive young
man, who really has a passion for the game. His lack
of great foot speed dropped his draft stock, but he is
a good player.

Zach Strief is a big-bodied right tackle prospect who
is more agile than his timed speed indicates. He is
an experienced pass protector, who knows how to use
his great size and mass extremely well. He must watch
and control his weight better, but he is a solid right
tackle prospect. D-linemen who played against him in
the Big-10 really praised his ability to stonewall
players at the point of attack. The one thing I really
like about Stief is that everytime he played top
competition he raised his level of play. NW coaches
are concerned about his ability to control his weight,
but they really praised his work ethic, intensity and
attention to detail.

Hofstra's Marques Colston played WR. in college, but
he projects as an H-back or TE. in the pros. Colston
is a very athletic big man, who has sure hands and he
has just run over players that get in his way. He does
need to come out of his cuts and breaks quicker and
upgrade his route running skills. Hofstra coaches
raved about his talent, but they felt as though he
needed to upgrade his overall work ethic to reach his
full potential in the NFL. Colston really had a great
week of practice and game at the East-West Shrine
classic. Good 7th round pick-up.

This team has the makeup of the 1978 and 1979 clubs.
Those teams had explosive qualities on offense, but
struggled on defense. This team still has a host of
holes to fill, but you can't expect Sean Payton and
his staff to fill all those holes in one free agency
period or draft. All in all, I really like what I see
out of the initial draft and what I really like is a
change to smart, very productive players, who have
been team leaders in college. You don't see these
great work-out guys who look great on the track, but
can't play ball on the field.
It's a work in progress
and it will take some time to fill the many holes on
this team , but I certainly like the start and the
offense should be exciting to watch.

Mike D.
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