April 26, 2003

Talman Gardner - Wide Receiver, Florida State University

Talman Gardner
Wide Receiver, Florida State University

6'0" 5/8, 205 pounds, 4.46/40

Two Hundred Thirty-First Pick Overall, Seventh Round

WR Talman Gardner was lucky to be drafted after a pre-draft arrest for possession of marijuana and a loaded firearm. Considered a first day pick before those problems arose, Gardner is a very solid, very athletic player and the second consecutive receiver chosen by the Saints.

A solid performer for the Seminoles and has been on NFL scouts' radars since he was in high school because of his tremendous physical ability. Not considered a burner but is still a very fast player with a good stride. He ran a blazing fast 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day, a feat that certainly launched him up into the second round before his arrest. Very soft hands, a good blocker, and a very strong player. A two-year starter with lots of experience with Florida State, caught 19 touchdowns in two seasons. Also was a kick returner. From New Orleans and still makes his home there. Went to McDonough 35 high school.

Aside from the off-field problems, which Florida State receivers are no stranger too, Gardner is a solid receiver prospect. The arrest involved a substantial amount of marijuana and a pair of unregistered weapons in his car. Talman was released after being arrested on April 7 along with another Florida State football player. His agent had the following to say: "He doesn't have a history of getting in trouble, and I look at as an isolated incident. We'll see how the court decides that. Here's a guy who has no history of causing problems, whether it's school or police-related."

Here's what we're hearing from around the league:

"Excellent size/speed prospect... average route runner... inconsistent hands... does not always play up to his size and ability... little lazy in work ethic... accelerates after the catch... can use his long arms to shield defenders... could be a steal if Hubbard Alexander can turn him around both on and off the field..."

"Liked him a whole lot before the drug arrest. Why would the Saints take both him and Kelly? Who's going to be cut, Michael Lewis, the fan favorite? One of these rookies will end up on the practice squad. Gardner is a powerful 6'1" guy with great routes and is a fairly refined receiver. Great pickup, but obviously that arrest is pretty substantial to knock him down this far."

"Big-time, extremely good value pick. But he may have a felony hanging over his head. Easily could have gone in the second round. Accomplished route runner and a guy who made a lot of big plays at Florida State. A risky pick, if he can come in. It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out."

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