And the hits just keep on coming! With their third round pick the Saints surprise yet again this year by selecting tight end Jimmy Graham from the University of Miami.
The Saints really are sticking with the "Best Player Available" method of drafting. It is not a myth. Why else would they have selected Graham, who has four years of college basketball experience and only one year on the football field, with players like Everson Griffen and Eric Norwood still on the board. Tight end is certainly not the Saints strongest position but it's definitely not a pressing position of need. Not like, say, outside linebacker or defensive tackle.
The Saints have drafted outside the box at every turn so far this year but this one is probably most puzzling to me. But my mantra these last two days must remain the same: Surely they know what they're doing.
Does this mean the end for fan favorite Billy Miller? And what the hell kinda crazy ass tweet will Shockey put out first about his new teammate from his alma mater? I can't wait!
Mocking the Draft's scouting report:
Final word: Everyone knows Graham is a project, considering he's only played football for less than a year. But the converted basketball player is ultra athletic and has great size. He showed at the Senior Bowl and combine that he's a talent but inconsistent. His fate will be determined by if he's willing to work to overcome his inexperience-based deficiencies.
From Draft Countdown:
Fantastic athlete --- Outstanding size with a large, rangy frame --- A terrific leaper --- Fast, quick and agile --- Soft hands --- Great ball skills and body control --- Able to do some damage after the catch --- Very aggressive --- Excellent effort as a blocker --- Still has a ton of upside.
Extremely raw --- Inconsistent and dropped some balls --- Needs to get stronger --- Long ways to go when it comes to technique --- Unrefined as a route runner --- Isn't a dominating blocker --- Average production.
Just one season of college football experience --- Was a member of the Hurricanes basketball team from 2005 - 2008, averaging 4.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks --- Turned down an opportunity to play professionally overseas after his hardwood eligibility was exhausted to give football a try --- Ranked second on the team in touchdown catches in 2009 despite not playing the game since his freshman year of high school --- Has all of the physical tools you look for --- Rare talent who will be drafted based almost solely on potential but has the ability to be a superb all-around tight end at the next level --- Probably won't be "The Next Antonio Gates" but may be the closest thing we've seen yet.