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Steve Geller

"WWL First News" Sports Anchor
Weekdays 5am-10am

"Sports Talk" Producer
Weekdays 4pm-8pm

Twitter: @stevegellerWWL
Email: steve@wwl.com


Saints select RB in 7th round

The Saints closed out the 2016 NFL draft by selecting running back Daniel Lasco in the 7th round. The 6ft, 209 pounder out of Cal. Injuries kept Lasco out of five games in 2015 but the previous year, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lasco also had 33 receptions for 356 yards with two touchdowns that season. He could be a great fit in the Saints offense.  

Scouting Report>>> 
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Saints move up to round 4 to add a DT

The Saints made another trade in the NFL Draft to jump into the 4th round to select Canadian defensive tackle David Onyemata.  The 6 ft 4, 300 pound athlete comes to New Orleans from the University of Manitoba Bisons. 

READ MORE: T-Bob: Saints take big risk for bigger talent with Onyemata

Here’s what NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said about the newest Saint,  "He's got a big-time body... (but) he has no idea what he's doing yet, but he's got size and he's got movement skills.  He's very raw, but he's got an ability to turn into something.  A few years ago, Akiem Hicks from Canada was in this game and became a third-round pick.  I'm not saying (Onyemata) is a third-round pick, but he's got talent and movement skills, and some team is going to want to develop that."

Q&A with DT David Onyemata 


The Saints reportedly gave up their 5th round pick this year and their 2017 5th round pick to move up to select David Onyemata.
 
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Saints pick WR Thomas in 2nd round

 

The Saints have selected Ohio State’s receiver Michael Thomas with their 2nd round selection.  The 6ft2, 212 pound wide receiver has displayed an impressive combination of size and speed totaling 56 receptions for 781 yards and nine touchdowns last year. 

 

 

CBS Sports call Thomas a “more refined version of Rueben Randle.”  Drew Brees should love his new target’s detailed route running as well. ​

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Steve: You're on the clock - make the Saints #12 draft pick!

We are 2 weeks away from the NFL draft and a blockbuster trade has gone down. Hollywood high drama already for the LA Rams who send 2 first-round picks, 2 second-round selections and 2 third-round picks to the Tennessee Titans for the 1st overall pick and a 4th and 6th rounder. Kaboom! Blow up every mock draft ever conceived for 2016.

To make such a bold move, we should expect the Rams to be going after who they hope can be their star at quarterback. Here’s how things could now go…

1: LA Rams - QB Carson Wentz

2: Cleveland Browns - S Jalen Ramsey

3: San Diego Chargers - DE Joey Bosa

4: Dallas Cowboys - QB Jared Goff

5: Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Laremy Tunsil

6: Baltimore Ravens - DT DeForest Buckner

7: San Francisco 49ers - OLB Myles Jack

8: Philadelphia Eagles - RB Ezekiel Elliott

9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Shaq Lawson

10: New York Giants - OT Ronnie Stanley

11: Chicgao Bears - DT A'Shawn Robinson

Now, let’s put you in the Saints war room as you are on the clock with the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft and this is your big board:

CB Vernon Hargreaves III – Florida

DE Emmanuel Ogbah – Oklahoma State

DT Sheldon Rankins – Louisville

OLB Leonard Floyd – Georgia

DT Vernon Butler - Louisiana Tech

DE Jonathan Bullard – Florida

OLB Darron Lee – Ohio State

WR Laquon Treadwell – Ole Miss

Who would you select? Tell us in the comments on the post below!

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Steve: Already missing Hokie on Saints game day

Saints gamedays will never be the same. I don't know what I will do without hearing Hokie on Sundays anymore. The way he would describe a player or something that happened on the field can never be replicated. 

I love that I got a chance to know him even better the last 2 years we spent in West Virginia for training camp.  Watching practices with a former player/scout is great, but hearing his stories away from the field were even better. 

My sincere condolences to his family. Hokie will be greatly missed. 
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Steve Geller's first round draft predictions

The Draft takes place in just a few short weeks, beginning April 28th. Stick with WWL for more predictions, analysis and mock drafts!

1: Tennessee Titans – Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil
The Titans look like they are set with Mariota as their franchise QB…Tunsil will keep him safe.

2: Cleveland Browns – California QB Jared Goff
This QB-starved organization will eventually find their guy… will Goff be it?  

3: San Diego Chargers – Ohio State DE Joey Bosa
Often compared to JJ Watt, but that just isn’t fair.  Bosa may not wind up being a consistent double-digit sack guy in the NFL but should be a perennial Pro Bowler. 

4: Dallas Cowboys – Oregon DE DeForest Buckner 
Buckner has size, speed and power plus has been given high marks for character; all things the Cowboys organization are in need of.

5: Jacksonville Jaguars – Florida State S Jalen Ramsey
Has versatility to take snaps at corner. Has great instincts, but is prone to dropping easy interceptions.

6: Baltimore Ravens – UCLA OLB Myles Jack
Jack’s coverage skills make him a linebacking prospect scout drool over; TONS of upside here. 

7: San Francisco 49ers - North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz
Some feel he is the best QB prospect this draft.  Good arm, accurate, and mobile.

8: Philadelphia Eagles – Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
Impressive speed burst, vision and balance. Also has the strength to break tackles and pick up yards after contact.

9: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Eastern Kentucky DE Noah Spence 
Really stood out at the Senior Bowl, abusing offensive tackles with his speed, but past drug use is a red flag.

10: New York Giants – Oklahoma state DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Great combination of strength and speed, just hasn’t shown the consistency to be a top 5 pick. 

11: Chicago Bears – Alabama DT A’Shawn Robinson
Another guy with consistency issues, but tremendous upside.

12: New Orleans Saints - Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III
Top notch cover guy, will above average ball skills.  Won’t be looked at as a physical freak, but is more than willing to go that extra mile in run defense. Teams and fans will love his passion and energy.



13: Miami Dolphins – Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley
The Fins fill a big need of protecting Tannehill’s blind side here. Stanley’s biggest knock is that he lacks a mean streak.

14: Oakland Raiders – Baylor DT Andrew Billings 
Uses power and speed to get to the QB.  Was in the mix for me at #12 for the Saints. 

15: LA Rams – Ole Miss WR WR LaQuon Treadwell
Great size…great hands…but lacks in the speed department to separate from top corners. 

16: Detroit Lions – Baylor WR Corey Coleman
Can’t replace Megatron, but has jets to fly down the field and can score on any possession.

17: Atlanta Falcons – Alabama ILB Reggie Ragland 
Will immediately bring a tough, physical presence to the middle of the ATL defense.

18: Indianapolis Colts - Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd
Thrives at rushing the QB. Needs to get heavier and stronger though…will he keep that speed?  

19: Buffalo Bills – Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins
The only reason Rankins isnt going higher is his height. But the 6-ft-1 299 pounder has an engine that doesn’t quit.

20: New York Jets – Clemson DE Shaq Lawson
Strong, fast and explosive pass rusher, but there are question if he is better suited to play DE or OLB.

21: Washington Redskins – Ohio State DT Adolphus Washington 
Should have gone higher but was suspended for soliciting a prostitute at the Fiesta Bowl. His mixture of size, speed and strength can be overwhelming.

22: Houston Texans – Arkansas TE Hunter Henry 
A complete TE… good blocker and receiver in a class lacking at the position.  

23: Minnesota Vikings - Ohio State OT Taylor Decker
Should adapt quicky in the NFL because of his upper body strength plus the way he uses his length and power to his advantage.

24: Cincinnati Bengals – Ohio State OLB Darron Lee
Aggressive and has a long reach. Plays with confidence and has superior football instincts. 

25: Pittsburg Steelers – Alabama DT Jarran Reed
Great run stuffer, but doesn’t offer much in the pass rush department. 

26: Seattle Seahawks – Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander
A physical corner that could benefit from getting mentored by Richard Sherman. 

27: Green Bay Packers – Clemson DE Kevin Dodd
Had 3 sacks in the National Championship game vs. Alabama.  High motor player that fights to the end of the whistle. 

28: Kansas City Chiefs – Michigan State OT Jack Conklin
He has excellent core strength and a great center of gravity to stay balanced through contact.

29: Arizona Cardinals – Florida DE Jonathan Bullard
Has the versatility to play in any scheme at almost any position across the D-line.

30: Carolina Panthers – TCU WR Josh Doctson
Uses his 6-ft-2 frame to make acrobatic catches. Amazing leaping ability with solid hands.

31: Denver Broncos – Memphis QB Paxton Lynch
Their QB of the future took off for Houston. Denver hopes Lynch is a young Ben Roethlisberger.
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Steve: Saints OT Zach Strief ready to compete and mentor

​Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief dropped by SportsTalk to talk about "Hogs for the Cause" in City Park this weekend. The event raises money to fight pediatric brain cancer, and there is a Saints Tailgating Experience being raffled off to support the cause.

CLICK HERE to buy raffle tickets

Strief let us know that he is feeling good after having surgery in the offseason for the first time in his 10 year career as a Saint. He says it was nothing major, just cleaned up some "loose change" in his elbow. He missed just one game last season and the soon to be 33 year old will have to go to battle for the starting right tackle job this season.  Last year's 13th overall pick Andrus Peat is the competition.  

 "I'll be able to start until somebody beats me out," Strief said. "There's going to be competition, that's absolutely what I expect. My job is now the same as its always been; to try and win that job. And either way, whether I win it or Andrus wins it; to make sure and push him to make him as good of a player as he can be." 

If Strief does win the starting job coming out of training camp, the question then becomes, "will the Saints move Peat to guard?", since there is a vacany left by the release of Jahri Evans.

To hear the entire interview click the link below:

FULL AUDIO: Zach Strief on SportsTalk

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Steve: Saints restructure RB Mark Ingram

The Saints continue to create salary cap space by reworking contracts on players.  The latest guy to redo his deal is running back Mark Ingram.  

He was set to make a base salary of $3 million this season, but will now make $765K with the leftover money becoming a $2.2 million dollar signing bonus.  Ingram's salary cap number drops from $4 million to $2.5, which saves the Saints $1.4 mill in 2016.



He is the 3rd player to restructure this week.  Defensive end Cam Jordan and punter Thomas Morstead were the previous two..

The team now has $3.6 million in cap space available according to the NFLPA 
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Steve: Pelicans practically at death's door with new injuries

The wrath of some unknown basketball grim reaper continues to pick off Pelicans. This time the team has announced four victims, all in one sorrowful swoop.

First up, “The Flamethrower” Ryan Anderson, who has been out the lineup the last 5 games, has been diagnosed with a sports hernia. He will seek a second opinion from a specialist in Philadelphia. With just 9 games left in the season, don’t expect to see him again. And we may never see Ryno, again as he is set to become a free agent.  

The man who has been leading the way since Anthony Davis went down for the season has been Jrue Holiday.  Well, now he has been diagnosed with a right inferior orbital wall fracture. OUCH!!! He is done for the rest of the season.  That injury occurred with 56.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the New York Knicks. That kid from the stands should be giving Jrue a hug! 

The Pels' win over the Knickerbockers also claimed Alonso Gee for the final 9.  He suffered a complete rupture of the right proximal rectus femoris. That also sounds very painful. Finally, throw in Norris Cole. He is day-to-day with lower back discomfort.

Add those four names to a list that is headed by AD, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Quincy Pondexter, and Byrce Dejean-Jones. Whoever is still able to suit up will play the Spurs in San Antonio tomorrow, then have to come back home to take on the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. New Orleans has been eliminated from postseason contention, the team's focus now is getting ready for the NBA draft.  The Pelicans currently own the 6th worst record in the league at 27-46.
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Steve: Saints restructure Morstead, Jordan contracts

The Saints have freed up some cap space by reworking the contracts of punter Thomas Morstead and defensive end Cam Jordan.

Morstead is now listed with a $900k base salary, which used to sit at $3 million. This means he likely converted $2.1 million of his salary into a signing bonus.
  ​Likewise for Jordan who once had a base salary of $3.5 million. Now it stands at $765k.
The Saints now are said to have more than $3 million in cap space. That number will only increase IF they give Drew Brees the contract extension we have all been waiting for. 
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