July 15, 2010

DT Woods first draft pick to sign

The Saints have signed the first of their six draft picks, fourth round pick DT Al Woods from LSU.

Training camp is set to start on July 29 with players reporting for the first team meetings, and the Saints have five of six draft picks unsigned seventeen days away.

Woods, the fourth round run stuffer from Elton, Louisiana had a quiet but steady career at LSU, improving each season.  Athletic Woods has the best chance of any draft pick to receive starter's playing time as a rookie, and will fight to steal snaps from returning veterans Remi Ayodele, Anthony Hargrove and DeMario Pressley, with former top-10 draft pick Sedrick Ellis firmly entrenched as a starter.

Woods' four year contract will pay base salaries of $320,000, $405,000, $490,000, and finally $575,000 in 2013.

The Saints have historically been late-risers to get picks in on time, especially their top picks.  Last year, first round pick DB Malcolm Jenkins missed 14 practices and reported on August 10.

Jenkins joined a long since of top picks to report late.  Since 1999, the only Saint top draft picks to sign and report without missing any time were Ricky Williams and Robert Meachem.

The Saints typically wait for their man to be "bracketed" into place by the players drafted immediately around his draft slot.  Last year, the Saints waited for Redskins LB Brian Orakpo and then Texans LB Brian Cushing to sign their rookie deals.  This year's first round pick, Florida State CB Patrick Robinson, is bracketed by Colts DE Jerry Hughes (31st overall) and Rams OT Rodger Saffold (33rd overall), so watch for those players to sign.

The Saints did not need to waive a player to make room on the 80-man offseason roster.

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