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NFL Draft 2013: Saints Interested in Russell Shepard?

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An eyebrow raising tweet may mean the Saints are interested in the former LSU wide receiver, but not for what you think.

Kevin C. Cox

When LSU held it's 2013 Pro Day this past Wednesday all eyes were on the New Orleans Saints staff as they scouted the obvious targets in the upcoming NFL Draft, such as linebacker Barkevious Mingo who is often mocked to the Saints in the first round.

Mingo probably wasn't the only one the Saints watched. Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was seen chatting with coaches and linebacker Kevin Minter was also said to be getting a once over. But a shocker came later from one player in particular on Twitter: Russell Shepard.

Great news? Could the Saints actually be looking at the once heralded recruit who never really found his groove as a receiver at LSU?

Shepard bounced around in the Tigers offense and was used as a quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. As a rusher Shepard had 716 yards and five touchdowns, while as a receiver he notched 570 yards for five touchdowns. His final year with LSU was the most disappointing with just 161 yards rushing, 92 yards receiving and one touchdown.


Russell Shepard

#10 / Wide Receiver / LSU Tigers

6-1

195

senior

So why are the Saints possibly looking at him as a wide receiver? Well, it's likely because they aren't looking at him for his receiving skills.

Shepard was a Swiss Army knife of sorts at Pro Day. Not only did he participate in wide receiver drills, but also did kick/punt return work along with going through defensive back drills. He has made the statement that he will do whatever it takes to get a shot in the NFL and he means it..

According to NFL.com, Shepard was actually told by several scouts that he might fit best as a defensive back in the NFL. During the Pro Day workout he ran two 4.46 40-yard dashes and had a 38.5 inch vertical leap. At 6'1" and 196 lbs. they were compared to "defensive back measurables."

Currently Shepard is ranked as a possible undrafted free agent and that could explain the "great news" he got from the Saints, who may have told him to expect a call if he does in fact slip out of the draft.

But they may have a little competition for his services. Draft Insider is reporting that Shepard is scheduled to visit with the Baltimore Ravens on April 4th.