Now that the 2012 NFL Draft is over, we're profiling each team's draft. Who were the steals? Who were the reaches? We continue with the New Orleans Saints.
The 2012 NFL Draft was largely a forgettable experience for the New Orleans Saints. The team traded away its first-round pick last year to draft running back Mark Ingram. The NFL stripped the Saints of a second-round pick this year as part of the bounty scandal. Of New Orleans' five picks, three were used on linemen. Needless to say, there was little excitement.
In the third round, New Orleans used its first pick on Regina defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Kicked out of LSU, Hicks was one of the biggest specimens in this years draft and also one of the biggest gambles. in the fourth round, Wisconsin wide receiver Nick Toon was the choice. He's perfectly suited for the Saints offense, but it's difficult to see where he'll get snaps. He'll be behind Marques Colston, Devery Henderon and Lance Moore. Cornerback Corey White, the team's fifth-round pick, has already gotten onto the bad side of Drew Brees. The team's class was filled out with guard Andrew Tiller and offensive tackle Marcel Jones.
Questionable pick: DT Hicks, Round 3, pick 89
It's clear the Saints are trying to add talent and depth to their defensive line. Free agents Brodrick Bunkley and Remi Ayodele were brought in, as was Hicks. But on a team that is consistently near the top of the NFL, the choice of Hicks was a surprise. They passed on Brandon Thompson, a much more polished and proven player.
Late-Round Steal: OT Marcel Jones, Round 7, pick 234
There are some things to like about Jones. He flashed at times at Nebraska and has good size. Jones fell to the seventh round because of injury concerns throughout his college career. If he can stay healthy, though, Jones should be good enough to be out journeyman backup Phil Trautwein.