It was kind of a slow day at camp today, a lot of walk thru’s and special team drills. The weather was hot but wasn’t excruciatingly hot, plus I got to hang with a couple of out of town friends who made the drive, Judy from Mississippi and James from Texas.
Whodat Nation indeed.
Okay this is going to be short mainly because there wasn’t much live action with the 7 on 7 or 11 on 11 team drills.
11 on 11
Marcus Williams had decent coverage on Josh hill on about a 15 yard out route but Hill fell down as the ball was arriving
Taysom Hill fumbles the snap but recovers to dump it over the middle to Boston Scott
Trey Edmunds flashes some speed and moves on what looked like would be a long run going to the outside but cutting it up the middle
A couple of FG notes: Wil Lutz comes up just short on what I would say was about a 60 yard try. The Saints then go into a hurry up FG drill were they run a play and then the FG unit has to hurry on the field to try an attempt. The 1st attempt there was a flag for movement on the line – they get a redo and Lutz nails it from 37 yards.
11 on 11
With good coverage downfield Drew Brees has to dump it off to Travin Dural for a short gain
Paul Turner beats PJ Williams to the outside but Brees missed him, I’m sure he wants that one back
Great play by Marcus Williams coming over to break up a deep ball intended for Tommylee Lewis. Ken Crawley was also in on the coverage. These are the ball hawking skills that makes Williams so valuable to this team, I’m really looking forward to his play this year.
Hau’oli Kikaha with the sack on Hill, even though the play should have been whistled dead, Hill scrambles out and show his speed getting out of trouble.
Tommylee Lewis with about a 20 yard gain showing his speed
Kikaha with what should have been another sack
Tom Savage feeling the pressure overthrows Paul Turner
Good to see J.T. Barrett showing his arm strength on a deep ball to 87 (number not on roster) it would have been a tough catch but it hit his hands. De’Vante Harris and Chris Banjo on the coverage
7 on 7 hurry up offense
Brees starts the 2 minute drill with a dump off to Alvin Kamara
Another dump off to Ben Watson
And yet another to Kamara
Notable: Tommylee Lewis, Travin Dural and Keith Kirkwood are you starting wideouts during this drill
Brees to Josh Hill for about 10 yards
LB Jayrone Elliott with the sack on Brees – the defensive sideline erupts
Kurt Coleman with a great pass break up for a ball intended for Josh Hill but draws the flag – to me it looked clean – he got there when the ball arrived
Well that’s a wrap for today, Ill be back out there tomorrow and after I do some editing I will have the photo gallery up a little later. Thanks for reading and as always ….WHODAT!!
It’s been awhile since I posted anything but after a much needed break, I’m back. If I make multiple typos or have spastic looking paragraphs I’m just going to blame it on the heat or the long layoff or maybe it’s just a few of these ice cold beers helping me cool off.
Anyways just bear with me.
Like always during mini camp there’s only so much you can take away from it, for me it’s the DB’s against the receivers or the running backs going against the LB’s. Everything else is hard to get a handle on until they put on pads in a month and a half.
Here’s a quick run down of some things that caught my eye.
Linebackers against running backs drills
Colton Jumper with a nice read with his pass breakup on Zach Line
Nate Stupar showing no lingering effects of his injury with solid coverage on Trey Edmonds
Ryan Yurachek beats Demario Davis on a little seam route
Alvin Kamara easily beats Davis on a short out route, to be fair, he does that to everybody and is almost impossible to cover in the short flat
Trey Edmunds has a couple of steps on Colton Jumper but drops the ball
Stupar again with good coverage, this time it’s Mark Ingram
Really nice read by Craig Robertson stepping in front of Zach Line for the interception
Kamara looked good all day, this time he beats Nate Stupar down the seam
The Saints go through an 11 on 11 but it is all run plays, Boston Scott caught my eye with his explosiveness to the edge. The Saint shift to special teams and then do some walk through’s.
Seven on seven
Alvin Kamara with a great over the shoulder deep out route catch, couldn’t make out who was covering him but it was tight
The play of the day – Ken Crawley wrestling the ball away from Ted Ginn Jr for the interception, that got the crowd going. It’s only mini camp but that tenacity is how he took that starting corner spot last year.
A blown coverage as Eldridge Massington is wide open down the middle for the catch
Kamara showing his good hands with a low ball catch
Keith Kirkwood with a nice back shoulder catch on a medium out route with PJ Williams in coverage
One thing to note: Taysom Hill did not look good during these drills, at one point misfiring on three straight attempts, they were just bad throws.
11 on 11 redzone
Austin Carr (I think) with a nice grab at the goal line rolling in for the TD
Marcus Davenport with what would have been a sack on Brees
David Onyemata with the sack
Boston Scott again showing his speed around the edge, he would have scored or close to it – from around the 15 yard line
George Johnson with the Sack on Hill
Chris Banjo with a nice break-up on a pass by Tom Savage
Tommylee Lewis in what looked like would be a great catch in the corner of the endzone but right at the last moment Arthur Maulet gets a hand in there to break it up – really nice recovery
J.T. Barrett looking slippery as he eludes a bunch of defenders for a scramble
When you look at these quarterbacks Drew Brees just stands out – this time with a laser to Ted Ginn Jr on a sideline route
Well that’s a wrap. They cut practice about a half hour short today.
One other note of interest, my partner in crime out there with me today, Judy Boggins from Saintsreport.com kept commenting on this running back number 38 who was catching our eye but wasn’t on the Saints supplied roster – that player was Tim Hightower, I’m really pulling for this guy. He was here for a try out, so hopefully it shakes out for him.
Check back here in a few hours I will do a photo gallery of today’s action once I get the photo’s edited. We’ll be back out in the devil heat tomorrow, so until then….WHO DAT!!
We are 20 days away from the start of the NFL Draft in Dallas. The Saints will be looking to knock this draft out of the park the way they did last years. Using fanspeak.com’s draft simulator this was how the board fell. I aimed to take BPA rather than positions of need.
Round 1 Pick 27 – Josh Sweat – DE – Florida State
Sweat needs to improve his consistency but could develop into a dominant edge defender wreaking havoc in opponent’s backfields. Sweat tested surprisingly better than expected at the combine and more importantly passed all the medical checks. Unlike most pass rushers who weigh in at 250 lbs, Sweat is a competent run defender. Once in a scheme that allows him to rush the passer more consistently Sweat could develop into a double-digit sack artist and has been compared to a slightly smaller Jadeveon Clowney by Dane Brugler. With the job that Ryan Nielsen done with the Saints defensive line last season I believe this would be a great match for both the team and the player. Nielsen will light a fire under Sweat and give him the coaching required to become a great player. Sweat would give the Saints defensive line the speed it has lacked opposite Cam Jordan since Junior Galette was released. Sweat was 1 of only 19 players that NDT Scouting gave a 1st round grade to.
Round 3 Pick 91 – Uchenna Nwosu – LB – USC
So far, this offseason the Saints have shown interest in a lot of the hybrid outside linebacker prospects. The skillset they appear to be looking for is guys who display skills in coverage, against the run and as a blitzer/pass rusher. Of the prospects they have met with, Nwosu was one the Saints showed a lot of interest in, meeting extensively with him at his pro day. Nwosu would be a versatile addition to the linebacker corps and give Dennis Allen and Mike Nolan another developmental chess piece to move around. Nwosu would give Allen a bit more juice when dialling up his exotic blitz packages as he tested well at the combine. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com said that Nwosu would be best suited to playing Sam linebacker in the NFL to take advantage of his strengths. In my opinion this is one of the more understated needs on the Saints defense. Adding a player of this skillset could be the missing part of the jigsaw for the Saints defense and watching tape on him I couldn’t help think how frightening it would be for opposing QB’s & OC’s to have Nwosu coming off the strong side behind Cam Jordan.
Round 4 Pick 127 – DaeSean Hamilton – WR – Penn State
The Saints need a slot wide receiver. The offense was poor on third down conversions last season. Previously the Saints have relied on Willie Snead in those situations and while he was retained as a restricted free agent, the Saints should add insurance with this pick. They get one here in DaeSean Hamilton. Hamilton has excellent size for a slot receiver and he can make contested catches down the field and through contact. He is sharp in and out of his breaks and is a precise route runner. He is a good receiver on 3rd downs and in the redzone with 80% of his catches going for 1st downs in 2017 according to Lance Zierlein. He needs to continue to work on his focus and eradicate the drops from his game. Dane Brugler said his skillset and play style make him a quarterbacks best friend with his always available mentality in the mold of Doug Baldwin. This would be an excellent addition for the Saints receiving corps.
Round 5 Pick 147 – PJ Hall – DT – Sam Houston State
The Saints were one of the interested teams in adding Ndamukong Suh in free agency. Opposing offenses averaged 4 yard per carry against the Saints defense last season. Hall is undersized as a defensive tackle however at 308 lbs he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.76 seconds. He was highly productive in the FCS and has the versatility to play across the defensive line. He also blocked 14 kicks in college. He is extremely athletic and strong, winning matchups using both attributes. Due to his style of play and athletic ability he is being compared to Aaron Donald by some in scouting circles. Hall would be a great addition to the Saints defensive line rotation.
Round 5 Pick 164 – Parry Nickerson – CB – Tulane
With Delvin Breaux unsigned and PJ Williams approaching free agency next season the Saints could look to draft a Cornerback in 2018. Patrick Robinson was a great addition for the team. He is another young talent for him to mentor. The biggest knock on Nickerson is he is undersized for the position and lacks the required length. The positives are he played on an island in the Tulane secondary. He can play press man and off man coverages. He can get physical on contested catches and uses his positioning to take away 50/50 throws deflecting 27 passes the last 2 seasons and he is a ballhawk intercepting 10 passes over the same period. Nickerson would be a very nice addition for Aaron Glenn and Dennis Allen to coach up either as an undersized outside corner or move him inside as a Nickel back.
Round 6 Pick 189 – Joseph Noteboom – OT/G – TCU
The Saints lost Senio Kelemete to free agency and Zach Strief retired leaving the Saints thin on the offensive line depth. Jermon Bushrod was added on a 1 year contract so the Saints could do with adding to the depth on the Offensive line. Noteboom was durable throughout college recording 40 starts at Left and Right tackle and practiced at Guard. Technique and strength need refinement but could develop into a starter with time. The Saints have prior history of being able to coach up mid to late round offensive linemen.
As stated above. The Saints need depth on the Offensive line. Parris is an intriguing prospect. He has the skillset and athleticism required to one day be an NFL starter. Plays with a nasty streak on the field and takes it personally when the QB gets hit. He is a good leader and was durable throughout college. This could be another small school offensive lineman the Saints develop into a starter.
Round 7 Pick 245 – Riley Ferguson – QB – Memphis
The Saints could be in play for Lamar Jackson or one of the other top QB prospects in this year’s draft if they start to fall. However, I think with the Saints are in win now mode and they take a prospect to groom at the position. Ferguson has a cannon for an arm. He has a gunslinger’s mentality and has stated he bases his game on Brett Favre. He had a very good touchdown to interception ratio and completed 63% of his passes in college. The Saints would have to have Joe Lombardi spend plenty time refining his mechanics and footwork. The traits are there to work with and learning from a future hall of famer might help turn this prospect into a hidden gem.