Kristian: Saints rookies try and impress!
Under the watchful eye of head coach Sean Payton, 70 players participated in rookie mini camp this weekend for the Saints. Some were true rookies others were journeyman players hoping for one more shot at the NFL like former LSU running back Jacob Hester.
We didn't get to see much of practice, and it's hard to gain an understanding about how a player looked when they're in shorts and helmets. With that said I'll give it a shot.
Cooks-in: The Saints first round draft pick, Brandin Cooks can absolutely roll. "You can feel his speed on the field," said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Cooks looked like a first round draft pick. "He's smooth; he uses his hands well to catch the ball. You can tell he's polished," explained the Cajun Cannon Bobby Hebert. Aside from the obvious talent on the field, Cooks is a young man of great character answering questions from the media with, "Yes sir or no sir" in nearly every response. Coach Payton watched the receiver drills with great interest "That's 100 times better, that's 100 times better..." telling Cooks after a rep. Oh, by the way, Payton isn't cutting the first rounder any slack, "Finish another 10 yards after you catch it."
Brandon Coleman: He might be the most intriguing of the undrafted rookies. He's huge at 6'6 and will be an interesting player to watch in training camp. "He's slow, but that's not the end of the world. I trusted Eric Martin with my life as a receiver, and he ran a 4.8 forty-yard dash," said Hebert. The passes from some of the tryout quarterbacks weren't exactly what you're going to get from Drew Brees, but Coleman made a few nice adjustments on the ball plucking a few high passes out of the sky that for a smaller player would have fallen incomplete." "What you like about Coleman from a quarterback perspective is, he gives you a bigger margin for error. He's going to get to a few more balls that other guys normally would not," observed the former Saints QB.
Jean-Baptiste: We didn't get to see much from him during the open portion of practice, but he passes the eye ball test that's for sure. Jean-Baptiste has long arms with massive hands. "He's got good ball skills; he's picking things up quickly. He's done a nice job so far," said Coach Sean Payton. Jean-Baptiste will be in stiff competition in a crowded cornerback field in OTA's and training camp. Depending on how he grasps the system, he could work his way into the nickel rotation this season.