July 27, 2011

Saints announce 21 undrafted rookies

The Saints have announced the full list of undrafted free agent rookie players signed by the team, including one of the consensus top-rated undrafted players, Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel.

McDaniel carried a third or fourth round value in the April draft, but a wrist injury (broken scaphoid bone) torpedoed his draft stock.  No doubt McDaniel was drawn to the Saints because free safety Malcolm Jenkins is currently the only safety under contract for the 2011 season. McDaniel started eight games at linebacker before moving back to strong safety at Clemson, where he led the ACC in interceptions in 2009 with 8 and recorded 4 more as a senior.  An experienced special teamer and a team captain as senior, McDaniel also has some maturity questions and a domestic violence arrest in his past.

The Saints signed three rookie defensive backs in all, including Fordham strong safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and North Dakota State's Josh Gatlin, who at 6'0, 198, has the size to play safety and 4.38 speed.

At wide receiver, the Saints added Texas' John Chiles, who played quarterback, runningback and receiver early on before settling in at wide receiver for the Longhorns. Chiles was Colt McCoy's primary backup for two seasons, playing some at receiver and runningback, before moving to receiver as a senior and starting eight games.

Also at receiver the Saints added another Illini in Jarred Fayson, who transferred from Florida and ran a 4.38 at his pro day, and former Illini Joe Morgan, who transferred to Kent State, was dismissed and ended up at NAIA Walsh, a Catholic University in North Canton, Ohio.  The Saints also added Fontainbleu High and Millsaps product Michael Galatas, who at 5'8, 175, ran a 4.25 40 yard dash.

In the backfield, the Saints added USC RB C.J. Gable, who started as a true freshman for USC but was derailed by injury and depth through his career.  Gable's best season came in 2008 with 617 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Saints also added Kolby Hurt, who is being converted to fullback by the Saints, though he played linebacker at Missouri State.

At linebacker, the Saints added Jerimiha Hunter from Iowa, who collected career 259 tackles, and Dwight Roberson from Oregon State, who collected 214 tackles and eight sacks in his career.

On the defensive line, the Saints added only one player, high-motor Dexter Larimore, a high school wrestling champ who pumped 225 pounds 32 times at the Combine.

On the offensive line, the Saints added Nebraska G/T Mike Smith, Marion T Harold Beilby, and Florida G Carl Johnson.  At tight end, the Saints added Harry Flaherty from Princeton, who can also long snap, and Nebraska-Omaha Michael Higgins, with 112 career receptions.

As a camp arm, the Saints added lefty QB Ryan Colburn from Fresno State with great intangibles. For a camp leg, the Saints added Cincinnati PK Jacob Rogers, who handled kickoffs and even punting for the Bearcats.  Long snapper Kyle Nelson from New Mexico State was added as well.

S Isa Abdul-Quddus, Fordham, 5'11.5, 199, 4.47 40
T Harold Beilby, Marion, 6'7, 310
WR John Chiles, Texas, 6'1, 212, 4.42
QB Ryan Colburn, Fresno State, 6'2.5, 233, 5.15 40
WR Jarred Fayson, Illinois, 6'0, 207, 4.38 40
TE/LS Harry Flaherty, Princeton, 6'2.5, 241, 4.81
RB C.J. Gable, USC, 5'11, 212, 4.58 40
WR Michael Galatas, Millsaps, 5'8, 175, 4.25 40
CB Josh Gatlin, North Dakota State, 6'0, 196, 4.38 40
TE Michael Higgins, Nebraska-Omaha, 6'4.5, 242, 4.67
LB Jerimiha Hunter, Iowa, 6'4, 239, 4.65 40
FB Kolby Hurt, Missouri State, 6'1, 233, 4.51
G Carl Johnson, Florida, 6'6, 348
DT Dexter Larimore, Ohio State, 6'2.5, 319, 5.18
S DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson, 6'0, 217, 4.67 40
WR Joe Morgan, Walsh, 6'0, 189, 4.38
LS Kyle Nelson, New Mexico State, 6'2, 240
LB Dwight Roberson, Oregon State, 5'11.5, 224, 4.71 40
K Jacob Rogers, Cincinnati
OL Mike Smith, Nebraska, 6'5.5, 298
C Ryan Taylor, UCLA, 6'2.5, 306

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