New Orleans Saints 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Saints used five of their six picks on defensive personnel. The lone offensive selection was former Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram. To secure Ingram, New Orleans moved back into the first round giving up their 2011 second round pick and a 2012 first round selection to New England. Cameron Jordan immediately upgrades the pass rushing ends which only produced 10 ½ sacks in 2010. The University of California graduate has quick hands to stab, punch, and extend his arms to gain separation. Cameron Jordan is projected to shore up the left defensive end position. He has experience in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 defensive schemes. Jordan is a big-handed flexible athlete with long arms who can bend and turn the corner. He has explosive edge speed and power. Consistent in the run game and rushing the passer, he plays with good leverage and quickness. He is a bright-eyed, smart, and a high effort, fast-twitch player. Mark Ingram was the top running back in the draft and dropped to the Saints due to the devaluation of the position by numerous teams. Ingram joins Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory in the specialized and diverse backfield. A total of five backs were put on injured reserve in 2010. Ingram possesses top level running skills. A strong runner after first contact, he can step through tackles, press the hole, and slice between defenders. He has excellent stop and go quickness. A patient runner with good instincts and awareness, he is a competitive runner with a low pad level. Martez Wilson was a value pick in the third round. The Saints project him to play on the strong side. In 2010 Danny Clark (UFA) and Jo-Lonn Dunbar (RFA) split time at the Sam linebacker. Wilson is a downhill player with functional athletic ability, agility, size, and speed. He had an outstanding athletic workout at the Combine. Aggressive and competitive, he has good catch up speed. He had a slow start last fall after returning from a neck injury that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season. Johnny Patrick started for three and a half years. A zone cover corner with good ball skills and foot quickness, he is instinctive in his play. He came to Louisville as a receiver and moved to corner in 2007. He comes up quickly on run support and demonstrates good toughness. In the past he has played gunner on the punt team and should contribute on special teams coverage. Greg Romeus may be the sleeper of the Saints’ draft if he returns to 100 percent health. He did not play his senior year due to back (lumbar discectomy) and knee (right ACL surgery) injuries. He was the Big East co-defensive player of the year in 2009. He was productive in 2008 and 2009 collecting 94 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 15 ½ sacks. He has long arms and huge hands, possesses an enormous amount of physical ability, and is tough and aggressive. Nate Bussey will compete at the weakside linebacker position and special teams coverage units. A developmental prospect, he has experience as a nickel linebacker and was Illinois’ second leading tackler. His pro day numbers from 3/16/11 were: 6010, 228, 4.54/40, 1.51/10, 16/BP, 35.5/ VJ, 10-1/BJ, 4.29/SS, and 6.91/3 cone. GRADE: GOOD.

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