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New Orleans Saints 2004 Draft Preview

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Saints 2004 Draft Preview March 30, 2004 The Sports Network (Sports Network) - The Saints enter the 2004 NFL Draft looking to add some spark to a mediocre roster. Despite big seasons from Aaron Brooks and Deuce McAllister, ...

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Old 03-31-2004, 01:15 AM   #1
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New Orleans Saints 2004 Draft Preview

New Orleans Saints 2004 Draft Preview
March 30, 2004
The Sports Network

(Sports Network) - The Saints enter the 2004 NFL Draft looking to add some spark to a mediocre roster. Despite big seasons from Aaron Brooks and Deuce McAllister, New Orleans' defense was far too generous during last year's 8-8 campaign.

Johnathan Sullivan, last year's top pick, has a world of potential, but his adjustment to the pro game was slower than anticipated. Still, the club is in search of another run-stuffing tackle to join Sullivan and ex-Ram Brian Young in the rotation. The Saints could use one of their two second-round picks on a strong tackle like Isaac Sopoaga (Hawaii), Rodney Leisle (UCLA) or Igor Olshansky (Oregon).

The Saints re-signed veteran cornerbacks Fred Thomas and Fakhir Brown, but more help is needed. The coaching staff wants to upgrade the overall speed on defense. Taking a cornerback in the first round is a strong possibility, especially if a player like South Carolina's Dunta Robinson is still on the board. Robinson, who runs a sub-4.4 40, is one of the fastest players in the draft and possesses the ability to develop into the best cornerback in this class. While he's still refining his coverage ability, Robinson has playmaking skills and a nose for the ball. Ohio State's Chris Gamble and USC's Will Poole are other possibilities in round one.

New Orleans might use each of its first three picks on defensive players. The linebacking corps is in need of some serious upgrades. While the cornerback position will yield a better player in round one, the second round will be full of solid 'backers. Auburn's Dontarrious Thomas would be an upgrade over incumbent MLB Orlando Ruff. OLB Derrick Rodgers was re-signed, but that won't stop the team from taking a look at Michael Boulware (Florida State) and Teddy Lehman (Oklahoma) in the second round.

Since the draft is so deep at the receiver position, the Saints will be able to get good value on a wideout in the middle rounds. USC's Keary Colbert, who could still be around in round three, possesses excellent all-around ability and could make an immediate contribution. Clarence Moore (Northern Arizona), Huey Whittaker (South Florida) and Triandos Luke (Alabama) are intriguing late-round prospects.

The Saints added ex-Buc Aaron Stecker and re-signed veteran Lamar Smith to provide depth behind McAllister, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the club add a running back at some point. Depth on the offensive line will also be a priority on April 24-25.

DRAFT NEEDS: Wide receiver, cornerback, offensive line depth, linebacker, safety, defensive tackle.

DRAFT PICKS: 1st round (#18 overall); 2nd round (#48); 2nd round (#60 from St.

Louis); 3rd round (#81); 5th round (#145); 6th round (#176); 7th round (#196 from Washington).

RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2003 - Johnathan Sullivan (DT, Georgia); 2002 - Donte' Stallworth (WR, Tennessee), Charles Grant (DE, Georgia); 2001 - Deuce McAllister (RB, Mississippi); 2000 - none; 1999 - Ricky Williams (RB, Texas); 1998 - Kyle Turley (OT, San Diego State); 1997 - Chris Naeole (OG, Colorado); 1996 - Alex Molden (CB, Colorado); 1995 - Mark Fields (LB, Washington State); 1994 - Joe Johnson (DE, Louisville); 1993 - Willie Roaf (OT, Louisiana Tech), Irv Smith (TE, Notre Dame); 1992 - Vaughn Dunbar (RB, Indiana); 1991 - none; 1990 - Renaldo Turnbull (DE/LB, West Virginia).

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/7219453

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Old 03-31-2004, 09:25 AM   #2
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I wouldn\'t be surprised if we go after a WR at some point. I mean glaring needs LB and CB but after than just upgrading and going after value is the course of the draft the saints have set and I like some WR in this years draftand lots of deptht in that area of the draft.
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Old 03-31-2004, 10:07 AM   #3
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I don\'t think WR is truly a NEED position. But a solid WR would bump a solid core of of WR\'s into an AWESOME group.
Joe Horn-All pro quality (should recover from his dropsies)
Donte Stallworth-Lethal weapon, entering season when most WR\'s blossom and nagging injuries decline.
Jerome Pathon-A perfectr #2/#3 WR. If you Ignore him, Bye-Bye.
Germain Crowell-Former stud, apparently recovered. Even a 90% recovery makes him a valuable sub.
Derrick Lewis-On the verge, still developing, probably a Willie Jackson type #3 at best.
Talman Gardner-Has potential to be a Terrell Owens type WR, or a car salesman. Played his rookie year like a rookie.
Michael Lewis-Far better than I ever expected. Not much more than a #3, but good situational guy.

Add a guy like Devery Henderson in the 2nd/3rd and good grief. That\'s scarey!


[Edited on 31/3/2004 by Danno]

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Old 03-31-2004, 02:21 PM   #4
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You make some good points Danno....albeit a bit optimistic. Sure, Horn can recover from a down year, and Stallworth could be what Ricky Williams was. (Hurt for two years and then a playmaker) Talman Gardner had a second round grade coming out last year until he ran into some off field troubles. But you never know. I think adding a wide out this year gives us that sense of relief just in case one of them doesnt come back and play the way they should. Pathon has been consistent adding one more puts the Saints WR\'s over the top and helps me sleep easier.

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Old 03-31-2004, 06:06 PM   #5
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Joe Horn-All pro quality (should recover from his dropsies)
I gotta disagree with you here, I\'d say when Joe plays well he\'s pro-bowl quality, but I think All-Pro is a stretch. All-Pro would mean he is one of the top 2 or 3 at the position.
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:19 PM   #6
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Joe Horn-All pro quality (should recover from his dropsies)
I gotta disagree with you here, I\'d say when Joe plays well he\'s pro-bowl quality, but I think All-Pro is a stretch. All-Pro would mean he is one of the top 2 or 3 at the position.
The Pro-bowl has 8 WR\'s, every year.
I didn\'t say he was an all-pro, I said he was all-pro quality, meaning he has a similar quality to a pro-bowl WR.
We splittin hairs today?
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Old 03-31-2004, 07:40 PM   #7
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We splittin hairs today?
Hahaha wow are we ever. I always thought \"All-Pro\" referred to the guys you would have on your \"All-Pro\" team, like the very best guys in the league. I figured it was different than a pro-bowler, which would mean being one of the four or five best in your conference.


Wow it must be a slow week if we\'re debating over what \"All-Pro\" means.

Hurry up draft.
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