January 11, 2011

Saints to own 24th overall pick in 2011 NFL Draft

The Saints will own the 24th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft this April.

This Draft is set to happen regardless of the status of the CBA negotiations, even though the current CBA will expire at the beginning of March.

The Saints have picked before at #24 overall, when they took Pitt RB Craig "Ironhead" Heyward in the 1988 draft.

Ironically, Heyward's son, Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, just completed his senior year and will be entering the NFL Draft this year.  He is expected to be a mid to late first round pick. Craig Heyward died of a brain tumor in 2006.
The Saints also selected 24th overall in 1985, choosing Tennessee LB Alvin Toles, who barely contributed to the team in four seasons. 

The Saints took RB Deuce McAllister with the 23rd overall pick in 2001, and given the season-ending state of the depth chart at that position, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Saints go for another runningback in 2011.  Top prospects at the position include Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray, Kansas State's Daniel Thomas, and West Virginia's Noel Devine.

New Orleans owns only five picks right now in the 2011 Draft, but four of them are in the first three rounds.

The recent news of the resolution of the terms of the Jammal Brown trade awarded the Saints a third round pick from the Redskins.

The Saints have traded all but one of their day three picks, still holding on to their seventh round selection.

Last April the Saints traded their 2011 fourth round pick to move into the fifth round to acquire Boston College C Matt Tennant.

New Orleans sent their fifth round pick to Washington as part of the Brown trade.

In September 2009, the Saints traded their 2011 sixth round pick to the Patriots for TE David Thomas.  Originally a seventh round pick, Thomas' excellent performance triggered a performance clause to upgrade the compensation to a sixth round pick.

UPDATE: The Seahawks, who knocked the Saints out of the wildcard round of the playoffs, lost the next week to Chicago and will pick 25th overall.  Had Seattle lost in Week 17 to the Rams and not made the playoffs on the strength of their NFC West title, they would have been picking between 7th and 14th.

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