May 16, 2007

Saints Ink Undrafted Free Agents after 2007 Draft

Saints Ink Undrafted Free Agents after 2007 Draft

Pittsburgh QB Tyler Palko
6'1.5 - 215 - 4.83

A poor man's Brett Favre has all the intangibles and leadership skills you could ask for. Lefty has over 8300 career passing yards and a 60% career completion percentage, including 68% as a senior when he passed for 2871 yards, 25 TD's and nine interceptions. Mechanics are touch and go, as is his decision making. Those are two things that can really be improved by coaching, and otherwise Palko is a very solid football player. Showed massive improvement as a senior. Not a very good showing at Senior Bowl, which sunk his stock in front of everyone.

Houston LB Wade Koehl
6'2 - 230 - 4.58

Physical specimen pressed 225 25 times and ran a 6.81 three cone agility drill. Projects to weakside. Picked off Miami's Kyle Wright in a game that Houston lost 14-13. Hard worker, has long wavy blonde hair, his signature look. Spoke with Saints before the draft.

University of Alberta LS Pat McDonald
6'2 - 247

Only the second player from the University of Alberta to sign with an NFL team. The Saints' camp snapper, as starter Kevin Houser is well entrenched and one of the best in the NFL.

Notre Dame WR Rhema McKnight
6'2 - 211 - 4.53

Productive (15 TD's in 2006) at the collegiate level in a pro style offense, McKnight is a solid effort, solid intanglibles kind of receiver. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in route running and toughness. Made some great catches to help out Brady Quinn. Durability is an issue, a torn right ACL ended his 2005 season. Doesn't have great measurables, which helped validate criticisms.

BYU OL Jake Kuresa
6'4 - 343 - 5.23

Former DT was a four-year starter on the offensive line. Half-Samoan, enormous and strong as an ox with 35 presses of 225 at his pro day. Played his senior season in 2006 on two partially damaged ACL's. Played runningback in high school. Weight is an issue, despite his rep as a tough worker. Solid intangibles.

LSU OL Peter Dyakowski
6'5 - 294 - 5.15

Vancouver native played tackle up I10, but will likely be forced inside to guard in the NFL. Not very agile. Plays with attitude and power but only started one year at right tackle on a loaded LSU offensive line. Punked Notre Dame's Victor Abiamiri in the Sugar Bowl. Already got himself drafted high in the CFL. The Saints have missed out on other LSU undrafted free agents, including RB Justin Vincent (Falcons) and S Jessie Daniels (Panthers). The Saints met with K Chris Jackson before the draft, but he signed in Buffalo.

Eastern Washington K Brett Bergstrom
6'2 - 220

Wide receiver and defensive end moved to punter and kicker at IAA E. Washington and got on the field that way. Had a 56 yard field goal in college and nails 65 yarders in practice on a regular basis according to the Spokesman Review.

Idaho FB/TE Keith Greer
6'1 - 248 - 4.77

Greer played mostly TE at Idaho. Did 17 reps of 225. As a redshirt sophomore suffered a wicked leg injury that put him in the hospital in critical condition after the surgery to repair the bones in his leg put him in a three week coma. Fought back to the practice field the next year and played in eight games over the past two seasons.

Rutgers CB Joe Porter
5'10 - 198 - 4.33

Track star in the 200m who ran a blazing 6.62 three cone agility drill and a 4.33 40 at his campus pro day. Mostly a reserve as a senior despite promising skills, is not a polished football player at this point. Did not return kicks.

Northwest Mississippi Community College DT Walter Thomas
6'4 - 374

Absolutely enormous. Weighed 300 pounds in middle school. NY Times photographed him doing front flips. Benches 475. Flunked out of Oklahoma State where Les Miles was coach in 2004, went to community college but was arrest for conspiracy to commit robbery, so character and work ethic are the obvious reasons why he wasn't drafted. Has played a sum total of 13 college football games, 11 at Oklahoma State and two at the CC level. Declared himself eligible for the draft, he's technically a junior. Upside speaks for itself, downside is pretty obvious. It's assumed he'll play defensive tackle, but there's a lot to train him for at any position on either side of the line. Has a lot to learn from Hollis Thomas.

Thomas was cut less than 15 minutes into the rookie minicamp.

Texas College DB Dathan Brown
6'2 - 195

10 interceptions as a junior and an NAIA All-American. Talented kick returner and special teamer.

North Alabama WR Anthony Merritt
6'0 - 189

DII All-American scored eight touchdowns receiving, rushing and passing as a senior, and returned three kicks for touchdowns as a junior.

Arkansas LB Desmond Sims
6'3 - 230 - 4.65

Played on the Arkansas Razorbacks defense that saw three players drafted and more signed on the undrafted market. MLB also played outside and defensive end after switching from wide receiver. In his career Sims had 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

South Carolina State OL Clyde Reed will try out with the Saints at the rookie minicamp.

Western Michigan LB Ameer Ismail will be at the Saints' rookie minicamp for a tryout but doesn't have a contract. Ismail led DI football with 17 sacks in 2006, and is a native of the Netherlands.

The Saints may bring Siena basketball player Michael Haddix, a 6'6, 255 pound center for the Saints. The Siena Saints, that is. Haddix has never played football.

The Saints have also signed former Southern Illinois DE Jon Hamm, who did not play last season.

Former Florida State backup QB Tommy Keane, who never really played for the Seminoles, tried out at the Saints' rookie camp but did not immediately receive a contract. Keane reportedly had problems even with the center exchange.

The team's rookie minicamp is two weeks after the draft from May 12-14.

NOPF News Archive