January 3, 2011

Saints to pick no sooner than 22nd in 2011 NFL Draft

The NFL has released the 2011 NFL Draft first round order, with the final 12 selections pending playoff results.

Because they qualified for the playoffs, the Saints will have a pick no higher than 22nd in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The 20 non-qualifying teams have their draft order set.  The 2-14 Carolina Panthers secured the first overall selection, while the 10-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the last of the fixed order at 20th.

Should the Saints lose to the Seahawks on Saturday, they would still pick after the loser of the Eagles-Packers wildcard game on Sunday, as the Saints will have a better record. 

The Saints would also pick after the Colts or Chiefs if they are knocked out in the wildcard round of the playoffs, so it would be possible for the Saints to lose Sunday and own a pick as low as 24th overall.

The deeper the Saints advance in the playoffs, the lower their first selection will be.  Last April, the Saints owned the 32nd overall pick following their Super Bowl XLIV win.

The Saints own 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.

The 2011 Draft, held in New York, New York from April 28 to April 30, is set to happen regardless of the status of the CBA agreement. 

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