Kristian@wwl.com - A year's worth of work is in the books for the Saints after making five selections in the 2013 NFL draft. Of New Orleans' five picks this year, they spent three on the defensive side of the football and two on offensive. The Saints did well with that they had on the final day, with just two selections.
Another wide receiver: In fifth round of the draft, the Saints grabbed Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills. Stills is praised for his excellent route running ability, and body control. "He runs exceptionally well," said coach Sean Payton. Many talent evaluators considered Stills to be the best route-runner in the Big 12 conference. I like the selection, it's a bigger version of Lance Moore with speed. He'll compete with last year's 4th round pick Nick Toon for time at wide receiver.
Tareleton State: As the Saints like to do, they went small school and grabbed a bit of a "project" player in defensive end Rufus Johnson. Coach Payton said Johnson will likely play outside linebacker in the NFL. Rufus had an impressive season last year with Tareleton, leading the team with 10 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss.
Unrestricted free agents: The Saints have a high success rate on finding unrestricted rookie free agents, with a significant portion of their roster is made up of guys that went un-drafted. "That's our number-one pitch to the agents and players," according to Payton. New Orleans now begins the NFL equivalent to recruiting at the college level. Players and agents look at the depth charts of teams before signing a rookie free agent contract.
Moving on: Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said today, Linebacker Scott Shanle, WR Devery Henderson, and DT Sedrick Ellis "Are probably not a part of our plans for this year." All three players are currently unrestricted free agents. Loomis also said the team will likely sign an un-restricted free agent rookie running back after the draft.