April 26, 2013

Terron Armstead, Offensive Tackle, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

13th selection in the third round, 75th overall
6'5", 306 pounds, 4.71s 40

Terron Armstead was on our mock draft radar before a combine-record 4.71 40 yard dash made him a familiar name for every NFL fan and sent his draft status skyrocketing. An experienced small school prospect from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Armstead played very well in the East-West Shrine, so well he was invited to the Senior Bowl as a late addition, and then to the Combine. He was a thrower from high school through college in track and field and holds eight SWAC individual titles.



Armstead's 4.71 is less than a tenth of a second slower than the 40-yard run by Saints' first round pick Kenny Vaccaro.  Needless to say, Armstead had a fantastic offseason leading up to the draft.

A starter at left tackle for the past three and a half seasons, including six starts as a true freshman, and a three  time All-SWAC player, he chose Arkansas-Pine Bluff over Division I scholarship offers because he would be allowed to compete in both football and track and field.

Armstead is a remarkable athlete but a small school prospect who doesn't have a pro skillset yet.  Playing against inferior physical talent and in need of some time in a professional weight training program, Armstead has all the potential in the world but may not start right away.

Armstead needs significant re-coaching on his footwork, though he is remarkably light on his feet, and will have to be trained to use his hands in a way that won't draw as many holding penalties in the NFL.  But importantly - both of those negative traits are fixable.  New Saints offensive line coach Bret Ingalls is certainly looking forward to this exciting challenge.

Tough as nails, Armstead sprained an AC joint (shoulder) but played his entire senior season through it, including both All-Star games this winter.  That took a lot of endurance.  Armstead measured only 17.5% body fat, a sign of superior conditioning for a man his size.

Armstead is the kind of raw athletic type the Saints have traditionally turned into starters on the offensive line, and with the Saints' shaky situations at both offensive tackle positions he is a perfect need pick as well.  Given the Saints' uncertain competition for him at left tackle in Charles Brown and Jason Smith, Armstead may be a option there sooner than later.

Former Saint special teams captain Steve Gleason, now fighting ALS and most recently in Peru with former teammate Scott Fujita, announced the Saints' third round pick.


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