Johnny Patrick, cornerback, Louisville, 88th pick overall, 24th pick in the third round
5'10 3/8", 197, 4.59 40
Quick, agile and a good special teams player, Patrick is a good athlete who played corner, safety and special teams. Has an astronomical 40" vertical jump. A disappointing forty yard dash time at 4.59 hurt his draft stock, as did a shoulder injury suffered as a senior. He isn't tall but has good length and is solidly built.
Patrick still started all 14 games for Louisville in 2010, at strong safety, collecting a whopping 102 tackles , two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He started games at both strong safety and cornerback in 2009, collecting 46 tackles, three interceptions, a sack and force fumble. But he lost his 2008 season to a torn left MCL and 2007 to a wrist injury that required surgery, and redshirted in 2006 because of a hamstring injury.
Patrick should fit in well as a nickel defender he he has good awareness and hustle. Patrick isn't an aggressive tackler and while he's got good ball skills, he needs to get stronger and tougher with contact. Patrick should also challenge for immediate playing time on special teams, and will help replace a potential mass exodus of players from the secondary who are headed for free agency.
This is the seventh straight year in which the Saints drafted a defensive back in the third three rounds. The last player the Saints drafted from Louisville was DE Joe Johnson in the first round of the 1994 draft. Two possible picks for the Saints, LSU DT Drake Nevis and Miami DL Allen Bailey, went off the board immediately before the Saints got on the board at 88.
Also available at 88: Texas DE Sam Acho, UNC LB Quan Sturdivant, Clemson S DeAndre McDaniel, Oklahoma S Quinton Carter, LSU OL Joe Barksdale, Michigan State LB Greg Jones, Georgia G Clint Boling, Mississippi State OLB K.J. Wright, TCU WR Jeremy Kerley, Cal S Chris Conte, Tulsa TE/FB Charles Clay, Iowa DL Christian Ballard, Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter, Nevada TE Virgil Green, Indiana WR Tandon Doss, USC DB Shareece Wright.