April 23, 2005

DL Jimmy Verdon, Arizona State

232nd Overall Selection - Seventh round
DL Jimmy Verdon, Arizona State
6'3", 280

Verdon was a versatile three-year starter at ASU, a role he'll likely reprise in the NFL. Not a great pass rusher and is in need of a workout routine overhaul to harden for the NFL. Started 38 games at Arizona State and was the defensive MVP. In high school, Verdon played wide receiver and free safety before moving to linebacker and eventually, in college, to defensive line. Slow for an end and undersized for tackle right now. Like all the Saints' picks this year, he is a hard worker and has a high-running motor on the field. More of a strong-side DE prospect because he lacks edge rushing capability and while he is good working on blockers against the run isn't a nose tackle type inside. Slow, even for a defensive lineman, running in the 4.92 range. Married, has two kids, will be a 24-year old rookie in November and was a fifth-year senior in 2004.

Saints Impact: Like Whitehead, Verdon will likely compete for a utility spot near the bottom of the defensive line depth chart. Verdon isn't ever likely to win a starting job at DT or DE but could become a valuable role-player and versatile lineman.

From Next Level's John Murphy at the Senior Bowl: "Weighed in at 6026, 274 pounds… has big arms, but is a little soft in the middle… little overly aggressive early in the week… was told to play with more control and composure by the Raiders staff… struggled to get off the initial block and did not create great penetration… rebounded nicely after a rough start and began to show progress in a number of areas… has good, but not great closing speed… can be relentless up the field… versatile enough to be used throughout the line… fights hard and shows some potential, as a pass rusher… but struggled to hold his ground against the run… was turned outside on a few plays, which left a void for the ball carrier… also got put to the ground on a few occasions… like his character and work ethic… seemed to listen and respond to some hard coaching, which is a good sign… may need to bulk back up to the 280-285 pound range in order to progress, as a run stopper… has lined up primarily at LDE and RDE, but may also see some action inside at tackle…"

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