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5 potential surprise defensive draft targets:

 
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whodatworm23


Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:33 am    Post subject: 5 potential surprise defensive draft targets: Reply with quote

I don’t know about you but it seems every year when the draft rolls around I feel like I have a pretty strong feeling about a group of prospects that the Saints are likely to target in the first round only to be surprised by their selection when they finally go on the clock.

At one point or another we’ve all talked about potential prospects the Saints could target in the top round like we do every year and for the most part a lot of the same names keep popping up like usual. Below is a list of prospects that I feel fit the mold of the kind of outside the box players that the Saints could once again shock us with by selecting with their 15th overall selection.

Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas

Although Matt Elam, Eric Reid and others have gotten most of the press at the safety position it’s Vaccaro who possesses the combination of size, coverage ability and run support that Spags looks for in his safeties. The Texas product has the skill set to be an interchangeable player in Spags schemes where often times in Austin he was asked to cover receivers in the slot, man the middle of the field & also come up and provide a physical presence in run support. While Vaccaro may not be my favorite prospect at the position, if we’re going just based on scheme fit for Spags… there might not be a better fit in this draft for our DC than Kenny Vaccaro!

Alex Ogletree LB Georgia

For anyone who watched the SEC championship game this year between Georgia & Alabama it was hard to come away from that game not feeling like Alex Ogletree was the best player on the field that night. While Georgia teammate Jarvis Jones and Notre Dame Heisman runner up Manti Te’o receive the most pub, it’s Ogletree that will likely develop into the best player on the next level. A MLB in Georgia’s 34 scheme, Ogletree possesses the length, instincts and overall athleticism need to become a defensive playmaker in the NFL at any linebacker position. In New Orleans, Ogletree would give the Saints an athletic 3 down SAM linebacker with the skill set to cover the new age NFL tight ends of the likes of Jason Witten, Vernon Davis, etc.

Xavior Rhodes CB Florida State

While Dee Milliner and Jonathan Banks are widely considered the drafts top two corner prospects it’s Rhodes who from a skill set standpoint would seem to be the best fit in Spagnuolo’s defense. At 6’1” 210lbs, Rhodes possesses the big body and physical press coverage skills Spags covets and we already know that Loomis and Payton aren’t afraid of taking a chance on a underachieving physically gifted corner from FSU… don’t we.

Alex Okafor DE Texas

You know… If the Saints are drafting a defensive end at 15 with the expectations of that guy being our starting RDE in 2013 then for our sake it better be Texas’s Okafor! Of all the top pass rushers in this draft, Okafor seems to always be the forgotten guy. With a NFL ready body at 6’4” 265lbs, Okafor possesses the best ALL AROUND GAME of any other prospect at his position. Yes his ceiling may not be as high as some others but the former Longhorn is a dominate run defender, fierce pass rusher and a flat out defensive playmaker. He has some of the most violent hands in the draft and a motor that doesn’t quit. Personally if were taking a RDE at 15, I’d rather have a guy who’s ready to hit the ground running instead of drafting one of these physical freaks and hoping he develops in 2-3 years.

Kawann Short DT Purdue

Make no mistake about it, Kawann Short was the best player on a bad football team this season. The Senior defensive tackle was consistently doubled teamed as opposing offensives tried to neutralize him and take him out of the game. Still the senior Boilermaker posted 42 tackles, 14.5 for loss, 6 sacks, 4 pass break ups, 4 blocked kicks and a forced fumble this season and that my friends is what I call a playmaker. Short is easily this year’s best interior pass rusher as well as being a stout run defender. His name really hasn’t been popular lately in the major media outlets but NFL scouts still hold the Purdue star in high regard and see him as a top 25 pick in the NFL draft.


What I see this year as the Saints top priority with the 15th overall pick is to simply land a impact defender who can come in and immediately help this struggling unit. I just don’t see this squad targeting a player that they will look to develop, I instead feel they will look for a prospect who can give them instant results and someone who is a plug in player from day one. Each of these players on this list aren’t widely associated with the Saints at their pick but are good scheme fits and potential day one starters and impact players for the black and gold.

Then again, at times like this I think back to former Saints coach Jim Mora Sr. press conference outburst when he let us all know that, “We all don’t know, we may think we know but we don’t know and we never will!”… Maybe he was right.

WHODAT
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101stSaintsFan


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okafor eh? What happened to potentially drafting Ansah? I remember reading plenty of mock drafts (not neccessarily from you) but most of them were high on us grabbing Ansah.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

101stSaintsFan wrote:
Okafor eh? What happened to potentially drafting Ansah? I remember reading plenty of mock drafts (not neccessarily from you) but most of them were high on us grabbing Ansah.


I'm high on Ansah but lets be real here... Ezekiel Ansah is not a ready made player. Yes, big time potential but will need time to develop. Ansah is not going to be the guy that will come in here and instantly be this freak pass rusher everyone thinks... the boy does not know the game yet.

Now if you wanna wait and develop him, yeah maybe (that's maybe) in about 2-3 years we might have a dynamic pass rusher with freakish skills but until then the dude is a project. THe same can be said to a certin degree for Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan.

Sleep on Okafor if you want but the fact is when you combine the total package... Body type, physical strgenth (upper and lower body), athletic ability, run defense, pass rushing skill, violent hands, experience and production and how the player plays in big games. I'm sorry when all those things are considered, to me... Okafor is the best player to come in and start at RDE in 2013 for the Saints.

Also, remember this was a post of players that would be shockers as the 15th pick.
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know how I feel about Rhodes and Short already. I'm not a big fan of Vaccaro, but I haven't watched all his games, so maybe I'm wrong. I'd be surprised if Okafor went at 15, but it is a position of need, so I wouldn't be too upset. I like Rambo, but I'm a bit skeptical because of his size. That pick would be a real shocker.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLOODx wrote:
You know how I feel about Rhodes and Short already. I'm not a big fan of Vaccaro, but I haven't watched all his games, so maybe I'm wrong. I'd be surprised if Okafor went at 15, but it is a position of need, so I wouldn't be too upset. I like Rambo, but I'm a bit skeptical because of his size. That pick would be a real shocker.


Ya know flood, I tried to suggest a few players that aren't mentioned much but are good fits in Spags scheme based on there skill sets.

Vaccaro actually is a highly reguarded prospect by NFL scouts and will likely be a top 20 pick and the 1st safety off the board. Some actually feel he will have a Mark Barron type of rise throughout the draft process. He's 6'1" 215lbs physical defender with great instincts and coverage skills but where he seperates himself is his ability to flip his hips like a corner in coverage.

Any other player on this list could actually be had after trading down in the 1st which is what I feel is this teams best option based on all the needs this defense has.
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FLOODx


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see you have Vacarro listed as a SS, I wouldn't have a problem with that, but I think we need more of a ball hawk at FS. Vacarro's tackling seemed sub par to me from the little bit I've seen of him.
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whodatworm23


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FLOODx wrote:
I see you have Vacarro listed as a SS, I wouldn't have a problem with that, but I think we need more of a ball hawk at FS. Vacarro's tackling seemed sub par to me from the little bit I've seen of him.


Like I said in the post... Vaccaro isn't my favorite at the position but I understand that he's likely the best fit for what Spagnuolo covets in a safety. WHat scouts love about Vaccaro is that he possesses the cover skills to be a FS but is also physical enough and has the size to be interchangeable as a SS as well.

Actually my safety rankings are a lot different than most...

1. DJ Swearinger SS South Carolina:
BIg time hitter with coverage skills, has won me over as my top player at the position.

2. Matt Elam SS Florida:
Another big hitter with ball skills who seems to always make plays

3. Kenny Vaccaro FS/SS Texas:
Possesses the skill set to be special in the right scheme.

4. Tony Jefferson FS Oklahoma:
Awesome ball skills and a willing run defender

5. Eric Reid SS LSU:
Strictly a SS prospect in my opinion but still a solid prospect at the position.

Those are my top 5 at the position of safety... as for now but the draft process is a long one.
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wow_junky


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't complain with 2-5, but please no safeties Very Happy Quddus has shown enough to warrant a starting spot at FS and Harper is a capable SS, his flaws are just very evident when QBs have hours in the pocket to expose him...
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potus


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whodatworm23 wrote:
101stSaintsFan wrote:
Okafor eh? What happened to potentially drafting Ansah? I remember reading plenty of mock drafts (not neccessarily from you) but most of them were high on us grabbing Ansah.


I'm high on Ansah but lets be real here... Ezekiel Ansah is not a ready made player. Yes, big time potential but will need time to develop. Ansah is not going to be the guy that will come in here and instantly be this freak pass rusher everyone thinks... the boy does not know the game yet.

Now if you wanna wait and develop him, yeah maybe (that's maybe) in about 2-3 years we might have a dynamic pass rusher with freakish skills but until then the dude is a project. THe same can be said to a certin degree for Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan.

Sleep on Okafor if you want but the fact is when you combine the total package... Body type, physical strgenth (upper and lower body), athletic ability, run defense, pass rushing skill, violent hands, experience and production and how the player plays in big games. I'm sorry when all those things are considered, to me... Okafor is the best player to come in and start at RDE in 2013 for the Saints.

Also, remember this was a post of players that would be shockers as the 15th pick.


+1 on Okafor. Both being from Texas, he reminds me of a slightly less athletic Orakpo. They really are sleeping on him so trading back and picking him up is a very viable option.
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101stSaintsFan


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ogletree played a very good "Scottie Pippen" complimentary role to Jarvis all year...And then exploded in the SEC championship game. Jones has the potential to drop due to his spinal condition. Ogletree is good too, but I think the fact that they may have complimented each other well at Georgia could have a lot to do with their success. Either way, I'm wondering where the chips may fall...

And to T-Raves, I was high on your boy John Simon...Reminds me a lot of Fujita when he was here. Then I heard he got destroyed by RBs and TEs in man on man single coverage at Senior Bowl practice. In any event, I love a guy who is a workout freak and tape room rat...I just don't seeing us get him with no second rounder.
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