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stockman311 12-24-2003 03:43 PM

(Posted by Mel Kiper on Dec 23rd, 2003 from

At this point draft talk doesn't seem too early. I have picked from Mel Kiper's list players that I think will be available for the Saints 3 picks in the first two rounds. I also feel that these are positions of need. The numbers next to the names are Mel's rankings by their respective postitions.

Offensive Tackle
2. Shawn Andrews (jr.), Arkansas, early-to-mid first round -- Andrews is a massive run-blocker (6-5, 360) who routinely dominates the defensive end he works against. He would accentuate an NFL rushing game.

1. Jake Grove, Virginia Tech, first round -- Has moved up the draft board lately and has the mean streak teams look for in an anchor. Game day performances have been excellent.

Defensive Line
1. Dwan Edwards, Oregon State, first round -- One of the most underrated tackles in the country, Edwards has had a tremendous senior year for the Beavers.
2. Rodney Leslie, UCLA, second round -- Hampered by injuries each of the last two years, but at full strength Leslie is a force to be reckoned with.
3. Marcus Tubbs, Texas, late first-early second round -- Has tremendous athletic ability for a 6-4¼, 325-pounder, but Tubbs needs to be more active and intense from play to play.
4. Tommy Kelly, Mississippi St., second-third round -- Can play tackle or end but is not a finished produce and needs to keep developing from a technical standpoint.
5. Chad Lavalais, LSU, second-third round -- Bounced back from an injury-plagued 2002 season with some dominating performances, and if he can continue to maintain that level for 60 minutes Lavalais has a chance to be an excellent pro with his 6-2, 295-pound frame.

Inside linebacker
1. Courtney Watson, Notre Dame, second-third round -- Smart, productive and extremely consistent, Watson is a Tampa Bay Bucs-style linebacker.
2. Jonathan Harrell, Northern Iowa, third-fourth round -- A good Division I-AA player who has played both inside and outside linebacker.
3. Daryl Smith, Georgia Tech, third-fourth round -- Did not really take his game to the next level this year.
4. Louis Moore, Pittsburgh, fifth-sixth round -- Has talent and moved in from the outside this season, but did not benefit from a top-flight defensive line to keep blockers off him. Moore did not have a great year but held up well.
5. Cody Spencer, North Texas, fifth-sixth round -- Always around the ball, Spencer grows on you the more you watch him play.

Outside linebacker
1. Jonathan Vilma, Miami (Fla.), first round -- Does not have great size at 6-0&189;, 231 pounds but has been one of the elite defensive players in college this year. A hit-lift-drive tackler and one of the more instinctive linebackers you will see.
2. D.J. Williams, Miami (Fla.), mid-to-late first round -- Big and fast (a former fullback), but still learning the position.
3. Karlos Dansby, Auburn, mid-to-late first round -- Gifted physically and can attack off the edge, but needs to get off blocks quicker and improve his coverage skills.
4. Michael Boulware, Florida St., second round -- A speedy, multidimensional linebacker who needs to get up to about 235 pounds on his 6-2&188; frame, Boulware can stay on the field all three downs.

1. Will Poole, USC, first round -- Did not become a starter until the third game this season yet turned into an elite cover man who led the Trojans in interceptions and pass breakups. Has a keen understanding of positioning.
2. Dunta Robinson, South Carolina, late-first to early-second round -- An underrated major-college standout who did a great job this season in coverage and has outstanding toughness.
3. Ricardo Colclough, Tusculum, late first-early second round -- Exceptional small-college corner who had nine interceptions and is also an excellent kick returner. Has good size at 5-11, 189 and 4.45 speed in the 40 but needs to get a little stronger.
4. Keith Smith, McNeese St., late first-early second round -- Was challenged a lot early in his career but held up well and did not see a lot of balls thrown his way this season.
5. Derrick Strait, Oklahoma, second round -- Does not have ideal size at just 5-9, but Strait is an excellent pure football player who did a great job in coverage during his career.

SFinAustin 12-24-2003 08:13 PM

I would love to see DeAngelo Hall in black and gold. He could be the shutdown corner we need!

BillyC 12-25-2003 10:58 AM

I\'d like to see Rod Davis in Black and Gold.

Inside Linebacker
Rod Davis
College: Southern Mississippi
Year: Senior
Height: 6\'3\"
Weight: 246
Birthday: April 2, 1981

Strengths: Rod Davis had to be more than just good to win the Conerly Trophy, Mississippi’s in-state version of the Heisman, in 2002. Davis was the first defensive player and the first Southern Miss player to receive the award, and he had to wrest it away from the previous winner, Ole Miss golden boy Eli Manning.

Davis is a natural middle linebacker with the instincts to find the ball and the speed to get to it. As his sack and tackles for loss stats indicate, he is very adept at reading his keys, diagnosing the play, and penetrating the offensive backfield. Davis delivers some big hits, but not at the expense of missing tackles. He recorded double-digit tackles in every game last year but one, and in that one he had nine stops.

Davis is the unquestioned leader of the Golden Eagle defense, and he takes that responsibility very seriously. He has tried to learn the best approach to motivate each individual teammate, since not every player responds best to someone getting in his face. Off the field, Davis received his degree in business administration degree last May.

Areas of Concern: Davis needs to become more consistent from play to play. After making a big play, he tends not to be as focused on the next snap.

Even though he was a defensive back prior to his senior year in high school, Davis is better at attacking the line of scrimmage than dropping into coverage.

SFinAustin 12-25-2003 02:24 PM


DeAngelo Hall
College: Virginia Tech
Year: Junior
Height: 5\'11\"
Weight: 201
Birthday: November 19, 1983

Strengths: DeAngelo Hall may be the best athlete anyone has ever seen at Virginia Tech - and oh by the way that list of athletes includes Michael Vick – and now D-Lo is ready for the rock as a two-way superstar. For the man who set the school’s standard with a 4.15 forty time earlier this year, Hall is ready to line up this fall at wide receiver, in addition to his duties as a shutdown cornerback and incendiary punt returner.

As you wipe the drool from your lower lip after reading that forty time, it should be noted that Virginia Tech seems to regularly over-hype the forty times of its football players. Hall’s impressive sprint was on the school’s notoriously fast track and timed with a hand-held watch. Regardless, he’s still blazes fast and should easily post a 4.3 time if given the chance at the combine.

Hall has all the physical tools. In addition to the wheels that make his closing speed so wicked fast, he has a 38-inch vertical and is a willing tackler. Though he may have dropped a couple sure interceptions last year, Hall proved his hands worthy in spring drills working as a wide receiver.

A former high school running back, Hall’s pigskin instincts give him the know-how to handle a football once he gets those mitts on one. He tied for fourth on the team among non-kickers in scoring last year, returning an interception and a couple punts for touchdowns.

BillyC 12-25-2003 02:57 PM

DeAngelo Hall sounds like a hell of a player. I\'d be happy if we landed him. I haven\'t seen him play, but I\'ve read a lot about him.

Rod Davis plays for Southern Miss, which is only on few miles up the road from me. He\'s very impressive also, but doesn\'t get as much attention as some other inside linebacker, because he plays for a smaller school. I\'ll be somewhat happy if we land any of the top corners or backers in the draft.

Lex 12-26-2003 02:29 PM

Great post, well researched...
My Mock draft for the Saints,

trade the 14th pick of the first round to Dallas (#25) and gain their 2nd round pick.

1 (25) Michael Clayton WR this helps end the drops and gives insurance against loss of Paython.

2 (15) Dontarrous Thomas ILB maybe we can stop the run

2 (22) Jacob Rogers OT allows Bentley to move to center

2 (25) Brandon Everage FS gives the position what Terbucky Jones only promises

3 (25) Mike Karney FB Finally someone to help Smith

5 (25) Quincy Wilson RB backup for Deuce

6 (25) any kicker (ours may be ruined)

pakowitz 12-26-2003 03:20 PM

that would be great an all having clayton on the saints, except for the fact that he hasnt declared for the draft yet and also i think he would be drafted higher then 25th, with the most likely scenerio being him going in the mid to late teens... and donatarrous thomas likely wont be around in the mid 2nd round, but thats just my opinion....

oh an one thing i forgot, the saints need more help with corners and linebackers than anything else......

[Edited on 12/26/2003 by pakowitz]

nocloning 12-26-2003 04:01 PM

Too early to decide what player I\'d like the Saints to pick (although DeAngelo Hall really sounds good), just two things I\'d like to add:
From what I hear from \"the experts\" a lot of the teams with the first picks will be looking for help on the offensive side of the ball, especially the offensive line (similar to the D-Line craze of last year). The player the Saints want may just fall into their lap - of course I assume they want a defensive playmaker. Step 1: Don\'t trade up!
Step 2: Get a CB if you haven\'t gotten one through FA, get a LB if you signed a (really) good CB already.

rusta 12-26-2003 04:52 PM

if we make getting a CB over a LB priority this year i will scream

our corners really didn\'t play that badly this year with the exception of ambrose\'s performance against tennessee

our LB\'s however need help at all three spots, no one killed us through the air this year, of course they didn\'t have to since they could just run all over us because our LB\'s couldn\'t tackle christopher reeve if he came up the middle

BillyC 12-26-2003 05:16 PM

I hear ya Rusta. You have got to stop the run before you can even begin to stop the pass. Anyone who wants a coner first, better think about that. I see no way they will think about addressing the secondary before the linebacker position. Personally, I hope they fill both the cornerback and linebacker positions in free agency. Besides the fact they could have an impact immediately, they would also provide leardship. It might not be possible to do that, but as long as I\'m wishing, that\'s what I\'m wishing for.

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