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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Saints Team Report Jeff Duncan / DRAFT DISH Plain and simple, things didn't fall the Saints' way. The club wanted either of Miami's linebackers, Jonathan Vilma or D.J. Williams, to fall to them at No. 18, but instead settled for ...

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Old 04-29-2004, 12:27 AM   #1
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Saints Team Report

Jeff Duncan /


DRAFT DISH



Plain and simple, things didn't fall the Saints' way. The club wanted either of Miami's linebackers, Jonathan Vilma or D.J. Williams, to fall to them at No. 18, but instead settled for DE Will Smith. Smith was graded as highly as Vilma and Williams, but the Saints already have DEs Darren Howard and Charles Grant, so it's unlikely Smith will start this season. That said, Smith is an ideal fit for the "buck" end/linebacker spot the club plans to re-emphasize this season and easily could record eight to 10 sacks as a rookie. WR Devery Henderson and LB Courtney Watson address areas of need. Henderson has tremendous run-after-the-catch ability. Watson is versatile and likely will play a reserve role as a rookie behind Cie Grant and Orlando Ruff and make most of his contributions on special teams. Normally risk-takers, the Saints played this draft safe. They might have been reacting to being burned by past boom-or-bust picks such as DT Johnathan Sullivan, DT Kenny Smith, WR Onome Ojo and DT Ennis Davis. It isn't a coincidence most of the team's picks in this draft are 22 or older. Maturity and reliability are points of emphasis this offseason.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

The depth chart was pretty much set before the draft, so there isn't much left to do to the roster before training camp. The club could use a veteran cornerback to add to the mix because depth at that position is unproven. Another offensive lineman and quarterback would help the team, though neither need is critical. Decisions must be made on veteran free agents such as LB Darrin Smith, C Jerry Fontenot and RBs Fred McAfee and Ki-Jana Carter. Smith is under contract but probably will be asked to take a pay cut or face being released. The addition of Watson and LB Colby Bockwoldt makes Smith's roster spot even more tenuous. Fontenot has been invited back as a reserve. McAfee and Carter might end up looking for work elsewhere.


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Old 04-29-2004, 11:41 AM   #2
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How the hell can they say that Colby Bockwoldt is a threat to Darrin Smith? Smith may be aged, but his experience is worth more than this unproven 7th round pick.
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