#17 - Third Round (82nd Overall)
OLB James Allen, Oregon State - 6'3 - 240
A pick that GM Randy Mueller got the personal 'ok' for from his friend Dennis Erickson, the head coach at Oregon State. (The same applied to last year's 6th-round pick Mitch White.)
Allen has a history of back issues but is a strong linebacker with good 4.6 40 speed. Erickson called Allen "the best linebacker in the PAC-10" at one point this past season.
Allen was the only representative of Oregon State at the Senior Bowl. Recurrent back problems kept him from achieving his true potential, which many thought was near at hand at the end of his sophomore year. Fits the Saints' prerequisite size and speed requirements for their outside linebackers.
Will challenge Darrin Smith for playing time at outside linebacker across from Sedrick Hodge, last year's 3rd round pick.