Although the Saints have tight ends Jimmy Graham, Benjamin Watson, and Michael Higgins on the roster, they could be looking to select another up and comer in the 2013 NFL Draft.
According to sports writer Adam Caplan they were scoping out former Rice University tight end Vance McDonald on Monday.
Teams are still working out players this week: The Saints are working out TE Vance McDonald (Rice) today (second-round projection).— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 22, 2013
McDonald gained some ground after a good performance at the Senior Bowl and the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. At the Combine McDonald (6'4", 267 lbs.) ran a so-so 4.69 40-yard dash but was the top performer in the bench press with 31 reps of 225 lbs., broad jump (119 inches), 3-cone drill (7.08 sec.), and 20-yard shuttle (11.73 sec).
While at Rice, McDonald had 119 receptions for 1504 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 12.6 yards per catch. He was known to be a proficient route runner and very quick and fluid in transition despite his big frame. The only knock by scouts is that his blocking could use work and he has a tendency to drop easy catches on occasion.
While Caplan shows McDonald as having a second round projection, some others have him more as a third round selection. The question will be if McDonald is there for the Saints' sole third round pick, will they draft him or stick with a defensive player?