Matt Tennant, center, Boston College
6'4 5/8, 300, 5.16 40
The Saints traded back into the 2010 NFL Draft to get younger at a key position. The Tennant selection targets the void left by veteran interior offensive lineman Jamar Nesbit, who was the ultimate utility man for the Saints over the last few years.
Like current starter Jonathan Goodwin, Tennant is a big, tall center. Tennant is a very smart, quick, light-footed center who was a team captain and a three-year starter. A native of Cincinnati, OH, he is a former high school wrestler. A sound technician and assignment-caller who is very tough and plays with pain. An ideal center prospect, finalist for the Rimington Trophy finalist, given annual to college football's best center.
Tennant has had Tommy John surgery on both elbows, in high school and again in the Spring of 2009. He returned from the surgery to start each game as a fifth year senior.
A better pass protector than run protector because of his lack of bulk. Like other Saints drafted this year, Tennant will benefit greatly from a year spent in a professional weight room. He has less than average 32" arm length, limiting his versatility.
Tennant was the center for Falcons QB Matt Ryan in 2007.
Tennant appears to be the heir to 31-year old Jonathan Goodwin's job sooner or later. Goodwin, a fifth round pick himself out of Michigan, was a journeyman backup until ascending unexpectedly in 2008 to a standout starter with the complete trust of the Saints and QB Drew Brees. Goodwin was named a Pro Bowl alternate last season.