Well, all in all, I am pretty happy with the Saints following draft weekend. Selecting K Taylor Mahlhaff in the sixth round could be a little questionable, but the rest of this picks I feel are pretty solid. There was a little something for everyone here. Defense, offense, special teams. I give this years Saints draft an overall grade of B. We got some good values in these later rounds, picking up players that were expected to go earlier, but have some risk involved with regard to injury and work ethic. Here is a look at the new team members we picked up today.
DeMario Pressley, DT, NC State: In an interesting move, the Saints trade up again, this time up two spots with Detroit, switching fifth rounders and giving them our seventh rounder to jump in front of Cincinnati again, and get Pressley. Because Cincinnati wound up picking a DT after being jumped over, I am assuming the Saints had their eye on Pressley, knew Cincinnati was going to take him, and made a move to make sure they would get their guy. For that I applaud them. If this pick doesn't work out, I think we could at least say the Saints had a plan and executed that plan aggressively and the blame would be solely on their ability to gauge talent.
He was originally slated as a second or third round pick but concerns over injuries have been cause for concern. If they stop haunting him, he could be a great addition next to Sedrick Ellis in a year or two. Pressley is explosive and quick and is great at disrupting the pass, particularly with his long reach. That is great news with regard to getting help with our DB's.
Carl Nicks, OT, Nebraska: This one could be a steal in the fifth round as Nicks was projected to be a second or third rounder. In fact, New Era Scouting has him in the second round. He is a great athlete with great blend of size and quickness. The dude is huge! He also has a great work ethic and good football intelligence. Also excellent at stuffing the run. The downside is his lack of experience. Nicks played for two other schools before landing at Nebraska. He only started one year in his college career. Because of this, he has some developing to do and needs a little polishing. He also has some off field issues and recently had a run in with the law at a party, getting him banned from Nebraska's Pro-Day. This is hopefully just a blip on the radar, and the work ethic he is known for will allow him to thrive in this league. I'm not sure how much playing time he will get this season but if he is willing to put in the work this could be an incredible value, and we could be praising this pick in the future.
Taylor Mahlhaff, K, Wisconsin: Honestly, I'm not crazy about this pick, only because I think it could have been used to get another player at another position. With only one other kicker taken in the draft, we could have waited until UFA to pick him, or another kicker, for less.
That being said, he was probably the best kicker in the draft and was highly rated. He is left footed, so the rest of the Saints special teams unit may have to make a few adjustments. He is known for his big leg and his ability to kick the long ball (so was Mare). Mahlhaff is great on kickoffs, allowing him to be a specialist. He is coming off a great senior season.
Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan: Just when you thought the Saints day was over (I did), they go and trade a 2009 sixth round pick to Green Bay for the 237th overall pick in the seventh round. They use it to pick Arrington.
Is this another late round sleeper ala Marques Colston? Other than the fact that this guy comes from a big school, there are many similarities. This guys has great size and he's another receiver built in the mold of Colston and Meachem. His ideal build is also paired with excellent jumping ability. He has decent hands (check out the video below)but is known for dropping some passes. Also like Colston, he is not afraid to go over the middle and make that tough catch. Unlike Colston, however, Arrington has off-field issues. He was arrested for domestic battery in 2006 and suspended in 2007. Also is known for his selfish attitude and for being lazy, including when blocking. Entering the draft following his junior year, Arrington could have stayed another year at Michigan, left the shadow of Mario Manningham, and perhaps get drafted higher next year.
Check out this catch. I'll have me some of that!
Here is a clip of Nicks practicing at the Senior Bowl.
Feel free to chat about this guys.