April 27, 2013

Loomis, Payton Wrap Up Draft Class

Saints GM Mickey Loomis had a few interesting bits as the seventh round wrapped up and with the Saints' draft class complete.  The Saints had an NFL-low two third day draft picks.

Unrestricted veteran free agents OLB Scott Shanle, DT Sedrick Ellis and WR Devery Henderson are "probably not part of our plans right now," Loomis said.

Minutes earlier, head coach Sean Payton said that the door is not closed on Henderson despite the acquisition of speedy WR Kenny Stills in the fifth round today.

The Saints meanwhile will be beginning to acquire a class of undrafted free agents.  New Orleans of any team is a great opportunity for undrafted rookies looking to catch on with a team.  Not only do the Saints have a long history of keeping undrafted free agents, they can also objectively say that they've chosen an undrafted rookie (Pierre Thomas) over a draft pick (2007 4th rounder Antonio Pittman).

Further, the Saints have proven that they can develop undrafted runningbacks.  They just traded RB Chris Ivory for a fourth round pick, Ivory himself an undrafted rookie signing by the Saints.  Thomas and Travaris Cadet, two likely contributors at the position, were undrafted.  Lance Moore and Joe Morgan were undrafted rookies developed by the Saints.  The Saints also developed undrafted rookie QB Chase Daniel, who left for a three-year, $10 million contract in Kansas City.

The Saints are also tighter against the salary cap than almost any team, and picking a base minimum undrafted rookie over an equally rated veteran could make a big difference to the Saints.

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