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New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NFC South draft grades: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs By Bucky Brooks Analyst, NFL.com and NFL Network Published: May 2, 2013 at 02:12 p.m. Updated: May 2, 2013 at 07:43 p.m. The Atlanta Falcons rode a high-powered offense ...

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
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New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

NFC South draft grades: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

  • By Bucky Brooks
  • Analyst, NFL.com and NFL Network
  • Published: May 2, 2013 at 02:12 p.m.
  • Updated: May 2, 2013 at 07:43 p.m.
The Atlanta Falcons rode a high-powered offense to catapult to the top of the division. The speed and quickness of the Falcons' top skill players overwhelmed opponents, changing the way division rivals are constructing their respective rosters. Rather than focusing on adding firepower to their own lineups, the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are upgrading their defenses. How well their draft classes perform could ultimately determine the division champ in 2013.
NFC South notables

BEST PICK: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
New Orleans Saints, Round 1, No. 15 overall


The changing nature of the pro game makes it imperative to have a deep-middle defender with cover skills and instincts. Safeties must display the capacity to cover receivers and tight ends in space. Vaccaro certainly has those skills after serving as a nickel defender for the Longhorns during his final season. He is a rare safety with corner-like instincts and movement skills. Most importantly, Vaccaro is a cerebral player with the awareness and anticipation to make plays between the hashes. With more teams utilizing the tight end as a primary option in the passing game, Vaccaro will be a valuable piece for a Saints defense looking to dramatically improve against the pass.
MOST SURPRISING PICK: Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford
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BIGGEST STEAL: Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
New Orleans Saints, Round 5, No. 144 overall

The former Oklahoma standout has the talent to become a No. 1 receiver, but questions about his maturity led to a dramatic slide down draft boards across the league. However, Stills steps into a perfect situation that should allow him to develop and thrive as a playmaker. Sean Payton loves to feature multi-faceted receivers in the passing game, which makes Stills an ideal candidate to get plenty of touches in his rookie season. With Drew Brees adept at spreading the ball around, it is quite possible Stills enjoys a season of 50-plus catches early in his career.

Team grades

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: The Saints needed to address their suspect defense if they look to reclaim their spot at the top of the division. Payton took care of the unit's biggest need by claiming Vaccaro in the first round. John Jenkins gives the team a big, imposing presence at nose tackle, which is essential to making Rob Ryan's 3-4 work. Offensively, the Saints scored a major coup by landing Terron Armstead in the third round. He is one of the most athletic blockers in this draft class, with immediate starting potential. And Stills could be a sleeper pick who pays huge dividends as a versatile receiver in the passing game. GRADE: B


NFC South draft grades: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs - NFL.com
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

On Thursday, I shared the opinions of several analysts who are high on the New Orleans Saints' choice of safety Kenny Vaccaro in the first round of the NFL draft. There seemed to be even more enthusiasm about the Saints' later choices.

- Longtime NFL scouting guru Gil Brandt was extremely high on the Saints' third-round choices of Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead and Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins. Before the draft, Brandt had Jenkins rated 38th overall among draft prospects and Armstead 55th.

"I thought they had a very good draft for not having a second-round pick," said Brandt, who now analyzes the league for NFL.com among other outlets. "I thought the kid from Georgia was 35 to 50. And I love Armstead. I talked to Sean (Payton) about him coming back from (the scouting combine in) Indianapolis, 'You know, he's a guy you could probably play him at tight end. You see him in their (Division II) playoff game, he catches a pass. You can probably play him at defensive end, too, and he could rush the passer. I think he'll be a good player."

Brandt also ranked the Saints at No. 3 in the NFL on his list of the best undrafted free agent signings. He had Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas ranked 93rd among all draft prospects. He's also high on Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin and North Carolina linebacker Kevin Reddick.

- ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay singled out Jenkins as the best pick in the third round of the draft on a post-draft show over the weekend. He later wrote about Jenkins:

"Jenkins' weight is a concern, and he comes from a tough background. However, New Orleans is getting a big defensive lineman who can play nose tackle or the 5-technique (DE) in its scheme. He's significantly quicker than his size would indicate, and he moves much better than you might think. Finally, he plays hard. Jenkins gives it everything he has, and wears down because of his effort rather than size/conditioning issues. He has talent, and I love the gamble the Saints took here."

Read more: Analysts high on New Orleans Saints' mid-round draft choices, undrafted free agents | NOLA.com

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Old 05-03-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

"Jenkins' weight is a concern, and he comes from a tough background."

Didn't Norman Hand have a problem keeping his weight down? I seem to recall he was a great DT.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

I hope they all become STUDS!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

Originally Posted by NonieT View Post
"Jenkins' weight is a concern, and he comes from a tough background."

Didn't Norman Hand have a problem keeping his weight down? I seem to recall he was a great DT.
Remember Johnathan Sullivan Injured and benched for being over weight being caught raiding the press box stash of wings during a game? that was the last nail in his coffin.

i hope i am wrong and we do get a repeat. if not i can live with the pick.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

I am wondering if there is the possibility of T Armestead playing at RT before switching to LT? Willed Roaf started at RT before moving to LT as did J. Brown?
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

Originally Posted by hagan714 View Post
Remember Johnathan Sullivan Injured and benched for being over weight being caught raiding the press box stash of wings during a game? that was the last nail in his coffin.

i hope i am wrong and we do get a repeat. if not i can live with the pick.


Johnathan Sullivan was a bust and a waste of a draft pick. Still, many great DT's have trouble keeping their weight down, ie Norman Hand.
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

Originally Posted by triman View Post
I am wondering if there is the possibility of T Armestead playing at RT before switching to LT? Willed Roaf started at RT before moving to LT as did J. Brown?
I would think that is very much a possibility, if he beats out Strief. I don't expect him to get anything handed to him.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

Jenkins is not Sullivan, so I have a problem with all the comparisons... And Jenkins dropping 50 lbs. before the combine shows at least he's trying.

Let the kid at least hit the field before y'all label him "bust"
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: New Orleans Saints fill needs with studs

Championship!
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