The 2010 NFL Draft is officially in the books. The New Orleans Saints made three picks on the final day of draft action:
- Round 4, Pick 25 (123) - Al Woods, DT, LSU
- Round 5, Pick 27 (158) - Matt Tennant, C, Boston College
- Round 7, Pick 32 (239) - Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon St.
Make the jump for all of your transcripts, linkage and video from the days action.
2010 New Orleans Saints NFL Draft Summary - New Orleans Saints official website
Matt Tennant Overview - New Orleans Saints official website
Al Woods Overview - New Orleans Saints official website
|New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on Sean Canfield|
Sean Payton Post-Draft Press Conference Transcript
"We're in the process now as the draft concludes of calling and beginning the recruitment of free agents. That's pretty common right now. There's still a couple of hours of work here, trying to find some guys that we think fit. Overall though, we feel pretty good how it has developed. We moved up to draft a center from Boston College that we liked and then recently we drafted a quarterback from Oregon State."
This is the first quarterback you've drafted since you've been here. Was drafting him here about the same range as trying to get him as a free agent?
"With where we were picking in the seventh round, you're just trying to look at your ability to acquire the player knowing that there were a fair amount of compensatory picks after our selection. Nonetheless, he was a guy that we had seen enough from that we certainly had a draftable grade on.
"He's a lefty. We think he's accurate; we think he's a good decision maker. He really played a year-and-a-half there. Mickey (Loomis) is pretty close with the coach there, who has worked here before. Overall, there was a lot that went into that; a lot of research just trying to identify a second-day quarterback that might be available, and he was one of the guys."
Is there still a need to possibly bring in another veteran quarterback to challenge for the backup job?
"That's a fair question and I think that that possibility still exists. That's something that will sort itself out sooner than later."
Can you give us an overview of the three days of your draft?
"We wanted to go in being flexible and we were able to do that. We feel like we hit some areas. It varied on when we selected the players but we hit some areas that we felt like could help our team. When you look at the two defensive players - inside a tackle and outside a corner; and offensively going backwards really with the quarterback and the center and the left tackle - overall we feel good about it. We'll have a chance to see these guys here in two weeks and start the process of really implementing our system and our schemes and getting them acquainted with the program and getting them brought up to speed."
You had said about a month ago that someone was going to have to replace Mike Bell's carries. Do you still anticipate bringing someone in for that role?
"We're still right now talking with running backs. Lynell Hamilton and Pierre Thomas were both guys that we acquired during this process right now. We'll explore all of our options and see if we can't find someone that we feel like is capable of doing that."
Is there an area of the draft you feel like you wanted to hit but weren't able to?
"We weren't able to draft a linebacker and we weren't able to draft a running back. Those would be the two positions. We thought there might be an opportunity today possibly at running back or linebacker, whether it was inside or outside."
What are your thoughts on the new three-day process of the draft?
"I thought it was good. I the schedule was good from a timing standpoint. I think everyone felt pretty comfortable with it. I think overall it was successful when you look at the way it was received and the early response in regards to the ratings, all of those things were positive."
What are your thoughts on the candidates you currently have to fill Scott Fujita's starting spot?
"We're excited to see a handful of young players. It's probably one of the typical competitions that's going to take place between two or three guys - I don't want to specifically rule anyone in or out but we have some guys that we've drafted and we have some free agents that will all have an opportunity to compete for that spot. That's exciting to see these younger guys and see how they step up. I know Joe (Vitt) will do a good job developing them and that process has already begun; a lot of those guys have played a lot already."
Is there an increased premium on undrafted free agents now? It seems like an area you're spending a lot of time on it.
"I think every team is. With seven rounds - there was a time when the draft lasted longer - so if you look at each roster... If you look at our roster, you have (Jonathan) Casillas, Lynell Hamilton, Pierre Thomas, you could just keep going with guys that earned a spot, no different than someone that was selected early. Really once they're here, how they got here is of no importance to us. We've seen that year-in and year-out so I think this is an important step. If you didn't have examples like that then you might not take it as seriously but we've been able to find some between our scouts and everyone that's working now on the phones. We're not the only team. All the teams take this step very seriously. In Dallas we signed Tony Romo at this time after the draft. There are a number of examples of players that have gone undrafted and gone on to have great careers. The trick is finding them and then getting them to come because it becomes a little bit more of a recruitment battle right now."
How difficult will it be for this group of draft picks to make the roster? Is this the deepest your roster has been going into a year?
"I think each year it's challenging. You never go in with any assumptions; you really just try to pay attention to what you see. You could say that it would be harder with where we're at today than back in '06, but that being said, you're always surprised. We're anxious as coaches to see these guys get in here and begin to work out, knowing that they're behind the guys that they're competing with. That's the biggest challenge for them right now is getting them caught up, not only mentally but physically with where our players are at."
What intrigued you about Al Woods?
"He's a big body. He's someone that showed athleticism. I liked the kid a lot in our visits. He's someone that we felt was continuing to get better. There's a lot in front of him. It just became a matter of finding the right spot, the right time to draft a player. He was someone that we felt might be available on the second day. We brought him in last week and had some time to visit with him and his father. All that went well. I like his size and athleticism. I like his makeup that way. We're pretty familiar with the player."
Why looking at the tape do you think the best is in front of him?
"You see someone who's continuing to get stronger first off. He has good size. I do think as he gets into the system here and becomes familiar with what we're asking him to do, I think he's a guy whose arrow's pointed up. We saw some things we liked in him. It's hard to find those guys and those defensive tackles. You saw the premium placed on the first day in how they're selected. We're excited to take a look at and evaluate him and certainly he understands the challenge in front of him. He was impressive when we had a chance to visit with him and impressive when we had a chance to watch him."
Can you talk again about being in the position to draft Patrick Robinson?
"We sat at 32 and you come up with a circle of players you go through when it's your time to pick. He fell in that circle. We liked his size. We liked his speed. He has good ball skills. He's been very productive and it's a position that's hard to find in the draft. The corners always seem to go maybe a little earlier than you have them graded. If you wait oftentimes you're late on selecting that player. We had success a couple of years ago in where we selected Tracy (Porter). We feel like Patrick is a guy who has good range is someone we feel like can develop into a good player. We wanted to come away from that first pick with someone that was in that circle that we felt like we had a vision for. Clearly we had a vision for him."
What did you see from the center that let you to trade up for him?
"He's a player that has good size. He's extremely intelligent. He's been extremely productive in his career. He has good versatility. When you look at his IQ. He's been very consistent. You can watch seven games on him and each one looks the same. He makes very few mistakes. I think it's important at that position because we ask for so much of Jonathan Goodwin. They're in charge of so much more than blocking and pass protection and getting the front, communicating with the quarterback. All of those things were attributes that we valued with him."
Did losing Jamar Nesbit factor into that pick any?
"Probably a little bit. But, we think that the versatility that he provides, the experience, gives us a young player inside that can play center. We'll see from there."
Do you think that between him and Nick Leckey, you have a backup guard?
"We'll see. I think they'll come in and compete and we'll have a chance to look closely. I feel he (Matthew Tennant) probably has some versatility. The challenge is not neccessarily their position during training camp. It's when the game comes and you're taking seven (active players) into the game, which we did a lot of last year. Somebody has to be a swing guy inside. Somebody has to be a tackle that can go either way on the outside if you're just taking seven. We're trying to pay attention to that."
Was your process in looking at a guy like Jimmy Graham any different than other drafts?
"I think it's been pretty much how we've done it before and we consider it to be best available. You're not just circling a player and taking him. You're hoping that the grade either equals or oftentimes, it's very common where a player's grade might be a round or half-round after you've taken him. Clearly, he sits there along amongst another group of magnets, but it's pretty much the same format we've operated since I've been here with Mickey (Loomis)."
Do you have a specific number of undrafted free agents you would like to sign?
"That's a good question. Probably somewhere in the low teens, maybe 12, 13, 14 in that range."
Mickey Loomis Post-4th Round Press Conference Transcript
"As you guys just saw, we selected Al Woods, defensive tackle from LSU. We made a trade with Arizona to do that; gave up our sixth-round pick to move up. We just felt like there was going to be too many opportunities between us and that pick for him to get selected. We're excited to have him. We're excited to have another LSU player on our team. We like the make-up of Al; we like what he's done at LSU and we're looking forward to having him as part of our team."
Was there any connection to him being from LSU over any other school?
"No. We always go out in full force to their Pro Day and obviously we have a great relationship with LSU and their football program and we value that, but at the same time we're going to make a decision on who we draft based upon what's best for our team. It's coincidental that it's an LSU player, but we like that."
What did you like about him from his visit here?
"We like his make-up. He'll fit in well in our locker room. He's a hard-working kid; he has size and he has been a good player for LSU and one of the leaders of their team. We like all that about him and obviously that makes the intangibles fit what we're looking for in terms of a player."
Are you happy to be able to address the front seven of your defense with this pick?
"Yes. Absolutely that was an area coming into the draft that we wanted to find some help in and we've been able to do that."
You had said previously that your preference is to go with a player that was productive in college but do Jimmy Graham and Al Woods go against that somewhat?
"I would say that in both of those players we see a tremendous upside. Particularly with Graham being a one-year player and really new to college football, there's obviously a projection that we're making here. But we felt like that was the spot that we were going to need to take him in order to get him. We didn't think he'd last until our next pick and we've heard from a number of teams last night that leads us to believe that that absolutely would have been the case for Jimmy."
Do you see Woods as a nose tackle?
"I think so. That's where we would project him right now."
Did you have an inkling that there were some other teams between where you were picking that were interested in Woods?
"I don't know that we had a specific team that we thought might take him, we just thought that there were a lot of picks between us and where we traded - and we tried to move up higher than that to be honest with you. We just felt like there were a lot of picks and a real danger that he wasn't going to be available to us at 130, which was our slot. We clearly had a conviction for this player, as opposed to three or four others. This was the guy of that group that we thought might be available that we wanted and we just didn't want to take the chance that he wouldn't be."
Was nose tackle more of a position of need than three-technique when you were evaluating defensive tackles?
"I wouldn't say that. I think we were looking for another defensive tackle to fit into the rotation. With Sedrick (Ellis) there's a little bit of flexibility there and Remi (Ayodele) and DeMario Pressley - I think the goal here is defensive tackle; I wouldn't say that we preferred one over the other. We were just looking for the best player, regardless of whether he was a three-technique or a nose tackle."
Did the fact of having scouted him more closely play into the decision to draft him?
"I'd say that would play into it. We spent a lot of time really on all of the defensive tackles that were going to be available in the draft. In a couple of cases, they didn't fall to us earlier in the draft but I think we were lucky to get Al, to be honest with you."
Why did he not really live up to his projection out of high school during his LSU career? What do you think you can get out of him that they didn't in college?
"First of all, I wouldn't be critical of his play at LSU at all. I think he was a good player for them and a leader for them. You'd have to ask them if they got what they expected when they signed him out of high school. But we see a big kid with athletic ability and a chance to get bigger and stronger and a kid that's a hard worker and a kid that has a desire to be a good player in the NFL. Those are all good qualities, as far as we're concerned."
Will this possibly allow you to use Anthony Hargrove more at defensive end?
"We'll see when we come out of training camp. Certainly one of the attractive things about Anthony is that he can go out to end and play. He's a disruptive player inside and can be a pretty strong player at end, so that's attractive about him. In terms of how it all shakes out, we'll have to see once we get to training camp, and who knows who else we might bring in."
Could you potentially make another move later today?
"If we can, yes. Right now we have a late pick in the seventh round, which isn't a lot of ammunition to do much, but a year ago we traded a future pick to get into a round and certainly if there is a player or two that we have conviction about and we can make that move, we would absolutely consider it. It has worked out for us a number of times in the past so I wouldn't rule that out all."
Would you be alright about leaving the draft with just five guys?
"We didn't have a target number. We had six picks coming in and we were confident we were going to be able to get six good players but I don't think the number is a consideration. The idea is that if there's a player up there that we think can help us, that we know can make our team as a late round pick and be a contributor and potentially a good player for us, either in the near future or later on, and we can make a deal for a future pick, sometimes that's good value. I'd just reference back to Thomas Morstead last year. That was a pick that was questioned of why we would do that, why would we trade away a future pick, and yet we got pretty good value for that pick. Certainly when you look back at it, that was a good deal for us, a good move for us. I wouldn't rule that out at all. In fact, we will more than likely pursue something like that in the next few hours."
How do you feel about your defensive line now with all the moves that you've made in the offseason?
"I think we've gotten better. But that remains to be seen. We need to get through minicamp; we need to get Jimmy Wilkerson on the field ready to go and see what we have in Al Woods. But today I feel pretty good about it."
What happens at a draft visit that might convince you to take a player, Al Woods in particular?
"No different than in any of the visits that we have with any college player, you bring him in, you want to meet him, you want to see what the personality is like, you want to know that they understand that they're on a job interview; they're not being recruited, they're on a job interview there. Which is different circumstances than when coming out of high school when they were being recruited. We weren't recruiting; we were interviewing. So that interview consists of a lot of elements, including a physical and an opportunity for our coaches to get the player on the board and see how much football he understands, see what his knowledge level is, see what his comprehension level is when you throw something new at him. Those are the types of things that you want to understand. Sometimes you may have questions. There may be an issue in his background that you have a question about, so we can get those answered as well."
There are many different reasons to bring a guy in for a visit - either to possibly sign them after the draft or possibly if you're not interested in them but want to make it seem that you are. In this case, was it that you had him moving up your board and just wanted to meet with him one last time?
"First of all, we don't ever bring anybody in that we're not interested in. The result of the visit may be that we're not interested in him, but we're interested in every guy that we bring him. This was a case where we just wanted to learn a little more about the player and see how he reacted to the visit, and it was a great visit."
Is the linebacker position this year comparable to the running back position last year as it relates to the draft for you?
"That's probably a good comparison. A year ago, out there in the public it was, ‘Why aren't they getting a running back?' That's probably a good comparison. There are some young players on this team that we like that have performed pretty well in the roles they have been given to date."
How does DeMario Pressley fit into the equation with the other additions?
"We like DeMario; we like what he has done. He's at the point where he needs to show us a little more, but we like his progress so far. There's nothing wrong with competition and he'll have more competition."
Can you project for us, or do you have an idea of what you might be looking for in the seventh round if you hold on to that pick?
"I don't. It's going to be another case of there being several guys up on the board that we like at several different positions - maybe even some positions that you would say that we're deep at. It's going to be who's the best player up there, regardless of position that we're going to take. There's not one position that's particularly loaded that I could tell you that it's likely that's where we're going to go. It's going to be the best player available. Again, if there's an opportunity for us to get a fifth-round pick or a sixth-round pick by trading a future pick, then we're going to look to do that and see if that can happen."
Al Woods Conference Call Transcript
Were you a Saints fan growing up?
What are your best memories of the Saints and what do you know about the team now?
"Everybody knows they're world champions, but I like watching the d-line, watching Sedrick Ellis. I watch the things he does. I try to mimic what he does sometimes. It's going to be great that I can play on the side of him. It's going to be a dream come true. I can't wait. I'm so excited. I can't wait to come down there and go to work."
When you visited them, did you feel that they were a team that was going to be after you?
"Yes. I felt that I had a chance to become a Saints. I was praying and hoping that when the time was right and at the time to select they would do it."
Were you surprised that the Saints moved up to select you?
"Yes, I was. I couldn't believe it that I was a priority for them, so when they move up to get me after the phone call my heart exploded. I was so excited. I was jumping around in the yard. My dad and I were spending the time together. It's just a great feeling."
What other teams were looking at you?
"I had a workout with the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. That was it. The only team I visited with was the New Orleans Saints. After that I didn't talk to anybody except getting calls for draft day numbers and confirming everything. The team I talked to the most was the New Orleans Saints."
Can you put this in the context of your college career and discuss if you ever thought this would turn out so well?
"My career was great. I had a great time. I wouldn't change it for the world. But, for me to actually move right down the street to New Orleans and to play for a great team like they have right now. Just to stay in the great state of Louisiana and play for all of these great people that are down here, to enjoy everything and embrace it, it's unbelievable. It couldn't happen in a better way."
Did your college career completely go as you wanted it to or did you have any doubts the first few years?
"Whenever you go to the college level, you have goals and expectations you want to meet yourself and some of those goals and some of those expectations I didn't meet. At the same time, I learned about playing with great teammates and working together for a common goal and all those goals that I had for myself kind of went out the window because I wanted to be a person that gave it all to the team, so we all met one goal. The individual goals come along with it. I'm happy right now. I can't explain it."
When you saw the Saints make those first three picks without choosing a defensive tackle, did you think your chances were getting better to come here?
"I really don't know because I kind of stayed outside and didn't watch it because I was a little nervous. I watched the first round when I saw that the Saints picked up a defensive back, I saw they kind of had a need for that. Whatever happened, happened. Wherever God wanted me to be, I'd be and I watched the first round pick and not the other ones. I stayed outside and woke up early this morning. I was outside with my dad, talking, thinking about where I could go and what could happen. The next thing I knew my phone rang and the Saints were calling. It worked out beautifully. It worked out perfect."
Did you talk to Coach Miles or your teammates? Were any of them excited that you might be a Saint?
"I talked to my D-line coach, Coach Haley. He said there was a real, real great chance, but me and him talked after I left the Saints visit. He called me and we had a great conversation all the way home. He said, "I know the D-line coach. He likes you. Stay humble and it will work itself out." I think he was right and it did. I haven't' talked to anybody else yet. I'll just see what happens in the next couple days and the next couple hours. I'll just call and see what's going on."
Where are you today?
"I'm in Elton, Louisiana at my home."
Who called you from the Saints to tell you that you were getting drafted?
Are you friends at all with Marcus Thornton, because he had a similar experience to you with the Hornets last year with the NBA Draft?
"We had a couple of classes together in college. We talked. We were never really hang out buddies. If we crossed paths we would talk to each other."
What strengths do you have that you bring to the Saints?
"Wherever they put me, they're going to have a great person to stop the run and a great person to rush the passer. I'm going to do whatever it takes. I'll play on special teams. I'll do anything. I'm not one of those guys limited to one role. I can do anything."
Can you talk about playing for an aggressive defensive coordinator like Gregg Williams?
"He's the kind of guy that pushes, he's real aggressive with a strong personality, which is what I like. He tells you what you want and how he wants to get it done or it's his way or the highway. I'm just really excited because in terms of personality, those are the kinds of coaches I've been around my entire life."
Matt Tennant Conference Call Transcript
Have you had much contact with the Saints?
"I did, my first meeting with them was at the combine. Coach Payton and everyone was there. We went over some plays, and like I said, it went really well. "
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
"I would say my strengths are what happened to me at BC. I went through a lot of different coaches in a lot of different systems, and I was able to adjust and be successful. That's what I plan to do in New Orleans. My weaknesses, if any, is my weight. I had trouble maintaining my weight at BC but right now I am sitting at 300 (lbs) and its feeling pretty good to me. "
Are you just a center, or could you potentially play guard as well?
"I am a center and a guard. I can play anything they ask me to. It can be center, guard, or maybe tackle. Whatever the team needs me to, I can do. My true position is a center."
What did you think when you found out that the Saints traded up to get you?
"I was extremely excited. This whole day has just been a whirlwind. I was sitting in the backyard hitting golf balls trying to relax. I'm ecstatic to be going to a team that had so much success last year, and I plan on going there and contributing and helping add to it this year."
How does your history in wrestling help you on the offensive line?
"Wrestling mainly comes from your balance, bending your knees, and just adjusting to what the defensive player does to you. That's really what you do in wrestling, is adjust to the guy and look for an "in," and that's what I have been doing since High School. "
How will you fit into an offensive line that had a lot of success last year both with the run and protecting Drew Brees.
"I just want to go in and learn from the veterans, understand how they play the game down there in New Orleans, and just help out where I can. It may be a backup role, but I'm going to go out there and push the guys ahead of me."
Who did you work out for, and did you think you would end up with the Saints?
"I didn't work out with the Saints actually. I worked out with the Broncos, Raiders, Falcons, and the Bengals. I didn't really have any sense of who was going to be picking me. I knew of teams that needed centers, and teams that didn't. I just kind of sat and waited and was patient with the whole process. "
Were you surprised by the Saints drafting you?
"No, not really, I knew they were interested after our meeting at the combine. Actually, it was a surprise. Anybody taking me was a surprise. It was just odd hearing your name called. I didn't know what was going to happen, and I'm just fortunate that it did. "
Do you have any experience long-snapping?
"No, I do not."
Who called you from the Saints, and what did they tell you about their expectations of you?
"The General Manager. It was Mickey (Loomis). They expect me to contribute and to come in and help out. To do what I have been doing at BC (Boston College) and just continue it down there. "