July 27, 2005

Saints Put Pen to Paper on Picks: Fincher, Bullocks signed

At press time, the Saints have three unsigned rookies with the signing of second round pick Josh Bullocks and third round pick Alfred Fincher.

Bullocks has signed a four-year contract and Fincher has signed a three-year contract. Those contract lengths are standard for those draft rounds.

Both are signed roughly 24 hours before the first meeting of training camp on Thursday night at 6:00pm.

Read NOPF's exclusive scouting reports on these two rookies: Bullocks Fincher

Bullocks is likely to see time in passing situations and special teams this season as a rookie. With Dwight Smith and Jay Bellamy entrenched as starters and with Mel Mitchell and Steve Gleason as key cogs on special teams, Bullocks will face stiff competition for playing time. All the safeties, Bullocks even as a rookie may have the best ballhawking skills and the most work to do on tackling technique. Playing as the sixth defensive back in the dime package is a possibility for Bullocks.

Fincher is ready to compete with 2004 second round pick Courtney Watson for the middle linebacker job. Fincher averaged almost 12 tackles a game collegiately. Both Watson and Fincher are relatively undersized for middle linebacker and both are three-down players with some coverage ability. Last year's opening day starter Orlando Ruff, released on June 7, was a liability against the pass but a force against the run.

Earlier, the Saints signed sixth round pick DT Jason Jefferson and seventh round pick DE Jimmy Verdon. First round pick T Jammal Brown and fifth round pick QB Adrian McPherson remain unsigned. Fourth round pick WR Chase Lyman, already slated for injured reserve and out for his rookie season, is expected to sign a contract later in training camp. Lyman injured his knee in the Saints' rookie training camp.

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