The title of the post says it all. Expect it to be all draft all the time from here on out.
First up, Times-Pic. They think they have their finger on the sleepers in this years draft.
Here's the article.
Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville - Can a guy who was considered a top-10 pick a year ago truly be considered a sleeper candidate? He can when everyone has forgotten about him. Brohm went back to college for his senior campaign and actually put up career numbers as the rest of his team fell apart around him. His reward? A continually dropping draft stock, which could allow a team to get a major bargain in Round 2 or 3.
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers - Scouts LOVE this guy, as he's got the production and measurables to be a major player in the NFL. If anything is working against him, it's his height and lack of elite speed, but Rice is the same size as Emmitt Smith (who wasn't exactly a burner either) ... with comparable ability.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State - Nelson is one of those high-character guys who just seems to continually get better. He's got great hands, nice route-running ability, good size and respectable speed ... all the things a person looks for in a wide receiver.
Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri - He'll almost certainly never be an elite blocker (and probably never even a good one), but Rucker is a great pass-catching threat for a team looking for mismatches on third down. Rucker has probably slipped through the cracks some thanks to the performance of fellow tight end Chase Coffman at Missouri, but he is a superb athlete with great hands and will help whoever drafts him.
King Dunlap, OT, Auburn - When dealing with a player that has traditionally underachieved, you're either getting a guy ready to fail ... or one really ready to explode. Dunlap has the unbelievable type of athleticism that can help carry him through any bad stretches he might have, and if he can get a fire-breathing coach to get the maximum out of his potential, he will be a very good one.
John Greco, G, Toledo - The opposite of Dunlap, Greco is your classic overachiever who won't have the athleticism to play tackle at the next level ... but could make a great guard. At the very least, Greco is a guy who won't hurt you, and that's a good quality to have in a rookie.
Steve Justice, C, Wake Forest - Not an elite athlete or especially powerful guy, Justice nevertheless is a fantastic technician (which is just what you want in a center). Coming out of Wake Forest, he understands leverage and spacing, meaning he'll be a perfect match for a team that likes to run misdirection often.
Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn - While not a particularly large player, Groves has elite quickness and pass-rush ability ... when he's motivated. His effort has been lacking at times, which could very well get him killed at the next level. No doubt, Groves is a boom or bust kind of guy, but if he can get his head on straight he can easily have a Robert Mathis-like impact at the next level.
Dre Moore, DT, Maryland - He's got the size, the strength and the speed to be a great defensive tackle at the next level. His question is whether he can put it all together, as he's still a raw player with some questions surrounding his effort. Still, Moore is about as solid a mid-round bet at defensive tackle you'll find.
Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee - Mayo is a guy who, for whatever reason, just isn't listed among the elite linebackers on most draft boards, and while he'll end up going in the first three rounds, he'll probably go lower than he should. His size will work against him, but if he's protected, he could give someone Zach Thomas-like production.
Chevis Jackson, CB, LSU - Here's a heady guy who may never become an elite NFL cornerback due to his physical limitations, but he's going to make some coach happy with his ability to match up in the short field. Could become a Bob-Sanders type in the box due to his physical style of play, but will start out as a nickel back.
Brandon Flowers, S, Virginia Tech - Flowers is a huge hitter and a very physical guy in the defensive backfield. Due to his less than stellar speed and change of direction, he'll be a guy who's rated lower as a cornerback ... and could become a major steal for someone at safety. He's definitely a guy to watch out for.
The Times-Pic also had a quick article on LB Keith Rivers and did their analysis of this years LB corp in the draft. But will Rivers be wearing black and gold next year...
"I've had meetings," he said, "but who knows? The draft is kind of like playing cards. Everybody's got their hands folded, and they've got their poker faces on."
The Sun Herald had two articles today. The first one was a scouting report on all the quality offensive linemen in this years draft. Probably doesn't apply to the Saints, but here is what they have. See article for further analysis.
Offensive Line prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft:
- Jake Long, Michigan
- Ryan Clady, Boise State
- Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
- Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
- Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
- Branden Albert, Virginia
- Chilo Rachal, USC
3a. Roy Schuening, Oregon State
3b. Oniel Cousins, UTEP
- Mike Pollak, Arizona State
- Steven Justice, Wake Forest
- John Sullivan, Notre Dame
- Dustin Keller, Purdue
- Fred Davis, USC
- Martellus Bennett, Texas A&M
- John Carlson, Notre Dame
- Jermichael Finley, Texas
The second article from the Sun Herald is a look back at the ten best and ten worst Saints draft picks.
The ten best, in David Letterman style...
- Jim Dombrowski, 6th pick, 1986 - Drafted as a tackle but became a fixture at left guard. Tough player. Solid citizen. 9. Stan Brock, 12th pick, 1980 - Steady contributor at right tackle. Too many holding penalties, but longevity counts. Spent 13 years with club. Now the head coach at Army.
- Mark Fields, 13th pick, 1995 - Fast outside linebacker who played for four head coaches - Jim Mora, Rick Venturi, Mike Ditka and Jim Haslett - in his six seasons with team. Part of breakthrough squad in 2000 that won Saints' first playoff game.
- Jammal Brown, 13th pick, 2005 - Has shown he can play right or left offensive tackle. Serious mean streak. Has a scowl reminiscent of baseball's Jeff "Penitentiary Face" Leonard.
- Wayne Martin, 19th pick, 1989 - Defensive lineman who played the run exceptionally well. Also registered 82½ career sacks, most for a Saints lineman. Played through injuries.
- Archie Manning, 2nd pick, 1971 - As the late Hank Stram put it, Archie was a "franchise quarterback without a franchise." He was the club's goodwill ambassador when the Saints truly needed one.
- George Rogers, 1st pick, 1981 - A productive player, absolutely. Probably carried the ball too much in Bum Phillips' ultra-conventional offense. Rushed for 4,267 yards in just four seasons before being traded to the Washington Redskins.
- Will Smith, 18th pick, 2004 - Smart, aggressive defensive end who will play in several Pro Bowls before his career is over.
- Deuce McAllister, 23rd pick, 2001 - The Saints' all-time rushing leader, his value in part measured because he went so late in the first round. Unlike Ricky Williams, he's from the same planet as the rest of us. A class act, we'll see how he responds to reconstructive surgery to both knees.
- Willie Roaf, 8th pick, 1993 - The late Jim Finks' final coup before his illness sidelined him. Acquired the selection from the Detroit Lions for one-dimensional defender Pat Swilling. Roaf was the real deal at left tackle for nine years in New Orleans. Will join Finks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And the ten worst...
- Joe Campbell, 7th pick, 1977- Look up the word "stiff" in the dictionary. Chances are Campbell, a defensive lineman from Maryland, will be pictured.
- Rick Middleton, 13th pick, 1974 - The Saints needed a linebacker. The Pittsburgh Steelers took Jack Lambert in the second round. The Saints took this guy.
- Ricky Williams, 5th pick, 1999 - Spectacularly bad because Mike Ditka traded his entire draft for running back/Heisman winner/space cadet. This one's on Duh Coach.
- Chris Naeole, 10th pick, 1997 - Ditka's first-year draft disaster. Became serviceable player after leaving Saints.
- Lindsay Scott, 13th pick, 1982 - They called him "Mr. Touchdown" at Georgia. Funny thing is he never got in the end zone in four seasons with Saints.
- Vaughn Dunbar, 21st pick, 1992 - Made eight starts in three seasons. Rushed for 574 yards. You could time him on a sun dial.
- Alex Molden, 11th pick, 1996 - The Saints needed a running back. Badly. Eddie George was available. Jim L. Mora was the secondary coach that year, so he got the Oregon cornerback. His dad was gone by midseason.
- Russell Erxleben, 11th pick, 1979 - Good thing Mel Kiper wasn't around when Saints used this choice on the Texas punter/placekicker. Wound up doing some federal time on fraud charges. Was a fraud on the field, too.
- Shawn Knight, 7th pick, 1987 - When he finally reported to training camp, defensive line coach John Pease pulled him aside for 15 minutes or so to show him how to get in a three-point stance. I am not making this up.
- Johnathan Sullivan, 6th pick, 2003 - First, the Saints gave up TWO mid-range picks in the first round - the 17th and 18th overall - to take this slow-footed defensive tackle from Georgia. A couple years later, he was on IR and got caught going through the media buffet line at the Georgia Dome. This gives him the slight edge over Knight and Erxleben.
Remind me after the whole draft thing is over to do a look back at old posts and see who was accurate and who wasn't, including myself, in their draft day opinions.