April 30, 2006

Saints Pick Up Massive DT Hollis Thomas

For the cost of moving back nine picks in the fourth round, Saints add potential starter

In their second picks-for-player move of the weekend, the Saints moved back nine spots in the fourth round and picked up Philadelphia DT Hollis Thomas.

The massive 6'0", 300+ pound defensive tackle arrives to a position where the Saints need not only depth, but size. DT 's Brian Young and Willie Whitehead, last year's starters, are not run-stuffers but disrupters unable to draw or beat the double team. Thomas, 32, is exactly that kind of player.

His low center of gravity and stout power make him an excellent block-absorber, a player that will make the linebacker behind him better players. Thomas recently lost 30 pounds of playing weight and while he is listed at just over 300 pounds, he plays at around 330 pounds.

"The Tank" was made disposable by the Eagles after the team spent two straight first round picks on defensive tackles, including Florida State DT Brodrick Bunkley yesterday. The Saints owe Thomas the final year of his contract with a base salary of $710,000, dirt cheap for potential starting DT.

While Thomas is certainly not guaranteed anything, he does possess a combination of size, ability and experience that no other Saint DT has at this point.

The Saints acquired Thomas by moving back from 99th to the 108th overall pick, what is essentially a sixth-round pick according to the Draft Pick Value Chart.

The Eagles chose Georgia G Max Jean-Gilles and the Saints chose Bloomsburg OT Jahri Evans with the draft picks they swapped.

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