New Orleans Saints 2013 NFL Draft Review

Kenny Vaccaro

Kenny Vaccaro was targeted by the Saints because of his versatility, including his ability to play over the slot receiver like a nickel corner. He is an impact hitter in the open field. Highly competitive, he has anticipation with good reactions, toughs, and aggressiveness. Regardless of the opponent, he plays at a high level. In the West Virginia game last fall he manned up versus ultra quick Tavon Austin and tracked him like he was in his back pocket. He’s a physical take on safety who uses his hands, sheds, and stays on his feet. Terron Armstead hopes to take a similar path to NFL success as former left tackle Jermon Bushrod (Towson) and Jahri Evans (Bloomsburg State) did for the Saints. The left tackle position is wide open and Armstead took advantage of Charles Brown sitting out with injuries and newly signed free agent Jason Smith learning the offense. Armstead is an ascending talent who is athletic, rangy, and competitive. He has long arms, quick feet, and good first step quickness that serve him well as a pass protector. His techniques have improved during OTAs. The left tackle position will not be settled until late August. John Jenkins is the man to beat out in the Saints’ new 3-4 system at nose tackle. Powerful at the point of attack, he can stuff and stack with any nose tackle in this draft. He sheds the blocker quickly, locates, and tackles. He hits the blocker and ball carrier with an explosive force and pushes the play deep into the backfield. Country strong, he gives a good effort and holds his ground. Jenkins has good lateral quickness and good productivity for an inside player with 50 tackles last season. Like most big guys, he plays best when he’s fresh. Kenny Stills will have a chance to fit into the multi receiver rotation once he picks up the Saints’ offensive scheme. He played behind Joe Morgan and Nick Toon in OTAs. A productive receiver for the Sooners, he had 82 catches in 2012. He has soft hands and good body control, sees the ball well, and adjusts to the ball in flight. Decisive out of his breaks, he gains lateral separation. The Saints were impressed with his versatility and intelligence to line up in a variety of formations and alignments. He was a feature receiver in the Oklahoma pitch and catch offense. Rufus Johnson (6052, 272) has been a standout in mini camps and OTAs, demonstrating his ability as a speed rusher with violent hands. He’s a rangy chase player who has good athletic ability and has been getting reps behind Victor Butler and Martez Wilson at the “Jack” linebacker position. His talent, physicality, and athletic ability have impressed his coaches and teammates. He still needs work as a coverage player. His senior year he collected 50 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks. At his pro day he had the following results: 4.76/40, 1.60/10, 20/BP, 34.5/VJ, 10-2/BJ, and 4.55/SS. Johnson was the Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Year. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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