March 14, 2012

With Meachem Gone, 2007 Draft Class Lackluster

Five years out, in review, the Saints' 2007 draft class was middling at best.

All seven drafted players would play in at least 23 games in the NFL, which is a credit to the class.  But newly-signed Charger WR Robert Meachem (27th pick overall) and Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod (125th pick, 4th round) are the only players who ever emerged as starters.

Meachem required two seasons of development before contributing, but then only split starting duties with three other receivers.

Bushrod, the unheard-of body from Towson University, is now the crown jewel of that draft class.  Bushrod sat for two seasons before appearing as an injury-replacement starter at left tackle during the Saints' Super Bowl XLIV run.  He is set to enter his fourth season as the starter, having improved each year.  2012 will be a contract year for Bushrod, who signed a two-year deal before the 2011 season.

Third round pick CB Usama Young spent his time with the Saints as a backup at cornerback and free safety, and signed with Cleveland last year. He started eight games for the Browns and was moved to strong safety.

Third round pick G Andy Alleman and fourth round trade-up target RB Antonio Pittman never played for the Saints and are out of the league.  Fifth round pick DB David Jones never played for the Saints, and is now an unrestricted free agent.

Mitchell spent four seasons with the Saints as a special teamer and backup middle linebacker, and was actually credited with a start in the Saints' 3-4 formation to open Super Bowl XLIV.  He signed with Miami in 2010 as a backup.

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