Nobody in the NFL likes to admit he reads draft grades, but everybody does.
Draft analysts hate it when teams trade away draft picks -- there's less to analyze. The Saints traded several hundred picks (slight exaggeration) to get another first-round draft choice to get Mark Ingram, the Heisman Trophy running back from Alabama. Draft analysts also tend to hate it when one player costs a team that much.
It's interesting to look around the Internet and see what the experts say about the Saints draft. Most of the grades were high, As and Bs.
Mel Kiper Jr., the man who always has a good hair day, of ESPN and the man most associated with the draft, gives three grades to teams. He gave the Saints a B for their draft, as well a C+ for drafting for need, and an A- in regard to value.
The following is what Kiper said about the Saints:
Saints fans should have been thrilled headed into Saturday. In Round 1,the team got a great value with (Cameron) Jordan at No. 24, then got the best running back in the draft by trading into the No. 28 pick to get (Mark) Ingram.
On Friday, somehow (Martez) Wilson fell in the Saints' laps at No. 72. He could have gone far higher. I didn't see cornerback as a major need, but (Johnny) Patrick is a nice prospect and teams will be throwing a lot against New Orleans because of how much the Saints figure to score. (Greg) Romeus is a player, who a year ago, I assumed would go fa'r higher, but injuries have set him back. He's a good risk late.
Where the Saints didn't get anything done was at defensive tackle and anywhere along the offensive line, where a tackle could be used. But the top of the draft was good enough where all potential needs can be overlooked to a degree. Of course, a traded Round 1 pick also has to figure into the over-all grade.
Quarterback Drew Brees on drafting Ingram: "He adds an awesome element to an already impressive backfield that we have. When you have three physical backs with Pierre (Thomas), (Chris) Ivory and Mark Ingram, you need that many guys to be able to pound the ball. And then you throw in Reggie (Bush), who has the ability to be split out and catch the ball and run the ball in any situation, that's four guys who are pretty lethal."
My bottom line: Give them an A for effort, and also for execution.
Thought for the day: I would be a morning person if it didn't start so early in the day.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees led 37 Saints players through a workout on Tuesday at Tulane's practice field.
Brees worked out a deal with Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson to use the Green Wave's facilities as he called on teammates to join him for the workouts while the NFL lockout prevents them from training at the Saints ' Metairie facility or contacting coaches.
"We would all be working out somewhere so why not do it together," said Brees. We're preparing for a championship season and I feel like this is putting us ahead of other teams around the league, just by the fact we're so organized.
The players will work on formations and plays -- even film study --but there will be no contact. Brees said three workouts a week are planned for May and parts of June, mimicking what the Saints would normally do in the months leading up to training camp.
Dickson said Tulane is charging Saints players "minimal" costs for having university personnel, such as strength and conditioning coaches, help with workouts.
Reggie Bush is not one of the players working out.
Brees' longtime personal trainer, Todd Durkin, volunteered to oversee much of the conditioning.
Brees is footing most of the cost of the Tulane staff as well as the insurance and lodging of some of the team's younger players, who can't afford the extra expenses without the workout checks and bonuses they normally receive from the team.
Brees didn't say how much these workouts will cost him, but it easily could escalate into five figures, depending the length of the lockout.
One draft pick, cornerback Johnny Patrick. joined his new teammates in the workouts. Other rookies, including defensive end Greg Romeus and linebacker Nate Bussey are expected to arrive soon.
Brees designed the workout program. His plan is to return to the Super Bowl and from his experience, he knows the seeds of a championship are planted in May, June and July.
Some key players whose contracts are in limbo, such as receiver Lance Moore, did not show, but Brees didn't begrudge their absences.
"I don't blame them if they’re not here just because the risk with all this is we have no injury protection," said Brees noting that if players have a season-ending injury teams would not have to put them on injured reserve and continue to pay them as they otherwise would.
Tackle Jon Stinchcomb said players were grateful to be working together again and weren't about to lament any lack of amenities.
by Ed Staton
by Ed Staton
...(Order your 2011 LSU Schedule T-shirts from Louisiana Sports Talk.com).
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