Monday, April 27, 2009

NFC South Draft Recap (Saints)

The New Orleans Saints finished the 2008 season with an 8-8 record. That would have gotten them a division title elsewhere in the NFL, but in the NFC was good enough to finish dead-last.
The Saints first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft was in the 14 spot. After that pick, they only drafted three other players. Here's a recap of how the Saints did this weekend.

Round: 1 (pick 14) - Malcom Jenkins - Cornerback - Ohio State. This is the guy who has been forcing scouts to wonder, "is he a CB, or is he a safety?" At just over 6-feet tall, Jenkins is on the taller side for a corner. Corners that size can have a hard time sinking their hips and exploding out of their cuts, but he has the toughness, speed and ball skills to develop into an effective press or Cover 2 corner. Some believe he still might be a stronger threat at safety as he is a sound tackler, and does an excellent job of reading eyes when he lines up in that position.
Round: 4 (pick 116) - Chip Vaughn - Safety - Wake Forest. Vaughn is an aggressive safety who possesses excellent size. He also is an effective open-field tackler and is capable of occasionally delivering a big hit. However, he lacks fluidity in the hips and is going to have problems covering a wide area when lined up in the center of the field.
Round: 4 (pick 118) - Stanley Arnoux - ILB - Wake Forest. Hey, didn't they JUST take a dude from Wake Forest? The Saints did a good job at drafting some depth at LB here. Arnoux is an instinctive player who is extremely stout defending the run on the interior. Although it seems that he might be limited athletically, he can mask this flaw with his overall football intelligence. He is a two-down linebacker and his overall strength is plugging-up the middle.
Round: 5 (pick 164) - Thomas Morstead - Punter - Southern Methodist. Morstead was the second and final punter taken in the draft this year. He displays above-average leg strength along with overall accuracy. He also brings added versatility as a situational place kicker. However, he needs to speed up the process as he's had a history of getting punts blocked in his collegiate career. I thought the Saints were going to try and pick up another power RB, but I guess trading up to grab a second punter was just too tough to irresist.
Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade: "C"
Bucs, Falcons, and Panthers recaps coming later in the week.

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