Draft: D-back and O-line help in later rounds for Saints
by Kristian Garic,posted Apr 28 2012 7:31PM
Kristian Garic reporting - Kristian@wwl.com
The Saints addressed some needs with their picks later in the draft. Let's break them down:
5th-round pick: Cornerback Corey White out of Samford.
You're probably thinking, "Samford? Do you mean Stanford?" Yeah I thought the same thing when I heard Jermon Bushrod out of "Towson" a few years ago. White is a college cornerback that probably transitions to strong safety with the Saints.
"He's real athletic, and got a long wing span," NFL analyst Mike Detillier said. White wowed scouts at the NFL Combine, registering a 37.5 inch vertical. He's described as a hard-hitting defensive back with physicality, coverage ability, and speed. The first thing he said in a conference call with the local media upon being selected by the Saints was, "I am looking forward to picking off some passes from Drew Brees." Wow! White isn't short on confidence.
The Saints added to some depth with the pick of White and also provided more competition for special teams.
6th-round pick: Andrew Tiller, offensive guard
In the 6th round the Saints tapped Andrew Tiller of Syracuse. The Saints' former offensive line coach Doug Marrone is the head coach with the Orange, so New Orleans got some advanced scouting on Tiller.
"Tiller had some weight issues before coming to New Orleans," NFL analyst Mike Detillier explained. His weight ballooned to more than 400 pounds after sustaining a season-ending injury his freshmen season. However, Tiller insists he has his weight under control. He's going to be a developmental guy, but at 6-feet 4 inches and 326 pounds, he's already an solid run blocker, although he needs some work on his pass blocking skills.
7th-round pick: Tackle Marcel Jones
In the 7th round the Saints went back to the offensive line, and back to a school they're familiar with in the selection of OT Marcel Jones (OT,) a 6-foot, 6-inch, 322-pound prospect out of Nebraska.
"Jones is a huge right tackle with great size and strength, and he's a power player at the point of attack," according to Detillier. The Saints have had great success picking players along the offensive line in the past. Three players jump to mind immediately when you think of late-round picks on the O-line; Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks, and Jahari Evans. And oh, by the way, the Saints drafted Zack Strief in the 7th round in 2006.
The Saints now begin the undrafted free agent process. Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt says they'll be looking to sign 18 undrafted players over the course of the next couple of day to fill the 90-man roster.