Payton not in Draft room but his signature is on the selections
Kristian@wwl.com - Kristian Garic reporting
In the days leading up to the NFL Draft the Saints insisted their Draft philosophy would not change despite Sean Payton's absence.
The front office, coaching staff, and scouts have stuck by those words.
With the selection of Akiem Hicks, Nick Toon, and the later-round picks, you can see the Payton's stamp all over the choices.
The picks have catch phrases such as "smart, tough, great work ethic, and high character" attached to their descriptions. The Saints continue to do a pretty impressive job of leting the "reachers" reach and scoop up talent according to their board rankings.
Payton and the Saints have made a living in the later rounds of the draft and appear to be doing it again. The selection of Toon might end up being the "steal" pick for New Orleans.
Toon is highly regarded by personel men around the league. A scout in another organization told me, "He's going to be a great fit in that organization, they just found another playmaker that teams wanted, but couldn't afford to take with other needs on their board."
According to that same scout, "Toon could have been selected in the second ruond, and nobody could have argued with that pick."