Steve: Saints rookies on the rise
Hallelujah, Who Dats! Saints preseason game numero uno is in the books; which means just 3 more exhibition games are left till the regular season. Most NFL fans complain about how the preseason games don’t mean anything and are a waste of time, but I look at them as public job interviews with teams.
Sure, some players might stand out in practice, but can they do it come game time? There were 3 Saints rookies that really stood out in the Saints 26-24 win over St. Louis. One is definitely no surprise, while another was a late round draft pick and lastly an undrafted free agent signing from a local university.
WR Brandin Cooks – 5 receptions for 55 yards and a TD / 2 punt returns for 5 yards
The Saints' 1st round draft pick didn’t disappoint after receiving a ton of praise at training camp. His 25 yard score was a Picasso. QB Ryan Griffin hit Cooks with a pass, the WR juked the Rams defender out of his jock, and waltzed into the endzone for 6. I think it’s time to call my guy in Las Vegas to lay a little something down on Cooks winning offensive rookie of the year.
OLB Ronald Powell – 1 tackle & 1 sack / 1 special teams tackle
Not the sexiest of stat lines, plus he did have a holding call, but the menacing 5th round draft pick did manage to disrupt the Rams passing attack and was able to get himself a QB takedown. Powell has really started to pick things up more, and I am seeing the potential the Saints saw when selecting him. He has the size (6-foot-3, 237lbs), speed, and athleticism to earn some playing time THIS season on the Fleur Di Lis D, as well as contribute on special teams.
RB Derrick Strozier – 1 rush for 5 yards / 3 catches for 23 yards / 1 kick return for 18 yards
You can’t tell me that this kid doesn’t look like Darren Sproles out there. I’ve been raving about the 5-foot-8, 181 pound back at camp and was glad to see the Tulane product show up in a game setting. My biggest concern for Strozier is, does the team have room for him? The Saints have Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet as sure fire bets to make the roster at running back already. But if Strozier continues to be a quick, elusive, and consistent producer he might force the team to make room for another weapon.