Why TRUST The Saints In the 2011 Draft?
Some Saints' fans are wringing their hands and wonder whether or not the Black and Gold Nation will look back on a successful draft later this month. While it's true that the Saints have had some EPIC FAIL drafts in years past, that has NOT been the case in recent years. Let’s look at what Loomis and Coach Payton have done in the post-Haslett years:
Reggie Bush, RB (USC)
Roman Harper, S (Alabama)
Jahri Evans, OG (Bloomsburg)
Rob Ninkovich, DE (Purdue)
Mike Hass, WR (Oregon State)
Bernard (Josh) Lay, CB (Pittsburch)
Marques Colston, WR (Hofstra)
* 2006 Notable UDFA’s:
Steve Weatherford, P, Illinois
Robert Meachem, WR (Tennessee)
Usama Young, CB (Kent State)
Andy Alleman, G (Akron)
Antonio Pittman, RB (Ohio State)
Jermon Bushrod, T (Towson University)
David Jones, CB (Wingate University)
Marvin Mitchell, LB (Tennessee)
* 2007 Notable UDFA’s:
Walter Thomas (remember him?): Thomas gone from Saints rookie camp, Meachem hurt - NFL - ESPN
Sedrick Ellis, DT (USC)
Tracy Porter, CB (Indiana)
DeMario Pressley, DT (NC State)
Carl Nicks, T (Nebraska
Taylor Mehlhaff, K (Wisconsin)
Adrian Arrington, WR (Michigan)
Malcolm Jenkins, CB (Ohio State)
Chip Vaughn, S (Wake Forest)
Stanley Arnoux, LB (Wake Forest)
Thomas Morstead, P (SMU)
* 2009 Notable UDFA’s:
Patrick Robinson, CB (Florida State)
Charles Brown, T (USC)
James Graham, TE (Miami, FL)
Al Woods, DT (LSU)
Matt Tennant, C (Boston College)
Sean Canfield, QB (Oregon State)
* 2010 Notable UDFA’s:
Junior Galette - LB - Stillman
Chris Ivory - RB - Washington St./Tiffin College
In light of their track record/history, I trust the leadership of the New Orleans Saints (Mickey Loomis, Sean Payton, and coaching staff) who are responsible for making the picks in the NFL draft. The main reasons are:
1. They don't telegraph their intentions.
Yes, it's true that both Sean Payton and Gregg Williams are candid in their discussions about potential draft picks. But they don't gush or bubble-over with enthusiasm before the draft. OK... they may do so after the draft (not always), but they often give misdirection to an overly aggressive media.
2. They do their homework.
I really like the story of how the Saints' coaching staff took the time to research Chris Ivory (and dispel the half-truths about questions of character issues). The following article is sort of a long read, but it's a great story:
Saints' Ivory proud he overcame college setbacks - SignOnSanDiego.com
3. Everyone has a clean slate.
Many teams make the mistake of "standing pat" on their previous year's roster. With that mentality, there's little chance that a 7th rounder like Marques Colston ...OR an undrafted free agent like Pierre Thomas gets a shot at being a starter (or at least the final 53). This is NOT the case with the Saints. The Saints' FO and coaching staff go into the draft looking for the best player available (BPA). And while that's nothing new, they have a pretty comprehensive slate of criteria they're looking for.
4. They take negative (or over-hype) with a grain of salt.
Take a look at the following players from the 2002 draft (Dwight Freeney, Jeremy Shockey and Julius Peppers), and read the negatives on them. This is a small segment of the "chatter and noise" that good teams have to sift-through in order to make the best choice. It also shows that hard work in RESEARCH (not reliance upon opinions from "talking heads") is what is needed in order to have a solid draft. It's NOT "luck."
Here's a sample of NEGATIVE remarks of the above-mentioned players, all of whom will likely be enshrined in Canton, Ohio in the future:
USATODAY.com - Dwight Freeney, DE - Syracuse
Negatives: Very thin in the leg department and does not have much room on his frame to add needed bulk…Situational pass rusher who struggles to disengage from the larger blockers in run support…
USATODAY.com - Jeremy Shockey, TE - Miami
Negatives: More effective working the short area, as he does not have the hip swerve and wiggle to elude turning upfield…Has to improve his blocking technique upfield, as he looks a little stiff trying to gain leverage on the quicker defensive backs...Rounds his routes somewhat… Needs to develop a stronger swim move in order to escape press coverage…Little stiff and weak in the lower body, lacking the strength to consistently sustain blocks…Has taken an abundance of weight addition supplements (creatine) prior to the Combine.
USATODAY.com - Julius Peppers, DE - North Carolina
Negatives: Gets too upright at times, leading to misdirection as he tries to move through the pile…More of a straight-line charger, lacking the power to redirect inside, where he would be bounced around due to multiple blocks...Struggles to keep balance when sliding outside to contain the run...Poor hand usage will frequently see him get locked up by the blockers, as he allows them to get their hands into his chest.
Yes, it's true that a few of our picks have not panned-out. But when you add it all up, and look at the overall success of the Saints in the NFL draft (including undrafted free agents) as well as bringing in solid veterans, there is not much reason to lose sleep about what the Saints will do. As far as I'm concerned, they've earned our trust.
The Saints have had some HORRIBLE picks in years past… but that’s NOT the case today. Want to have more to be thankful for? Take a peek at one person’s opinion of the Top Ten (#1) Draft BUSTS of all time (again, this is ONE person’s opinion):
I welcome you to post a remark on this article after the draft (and now, if you want). If I'm wrong, serve me a plate of crow and I'll eat it ...feathers and all.
jamarcus has to be higher, maybe should be no#1
You would have thought more than a few Saints would be on that list.
I liked the story about Payton talking with Carl Nicks for a full 30 minutes during the draft before they picked him.
The You Tube Video Editor did a brilliant job with the production; shame the same can't be said for the spelling...
When you look a the 5 drafts under Payton/Loomis so far you realize its not too shabby. Three 1st rounders spent on defence and 2 on offence, that feels a little wierd since I still consider the D to be weaker.
Payton is a master of the game and I believe he really looks at everything about a player before drafting him.
Our scouting department is one of the best in the NFL. Payton also hires out some type of player evaluation company that he says he has full confidence in.
I trust the Saints to do the right thing in the draft.... there are always a few head scratchers with them, but a lot of times it works out (Tracy Porter is a big one for me to remember any time I want to question the FO). The Saints just have a unique approach to the draft. Teams like the Cardinals always seem to take guys that are rated "Highest Left Available" by ESPN on Draft Day... the big names that everybody knows. The Saints just don't do that, I guess they do more research on other guys who aren't in the spotlight all the time. It can be a little unnerving when we draft somebody I've never heard of, but I've learned to accept it and trust these guys.
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