The glitz and glam of Draft day is over but that doesn’t mean the New Orleans Saints are completely satisfied with their personnel. Georgia Tech defensive back Roderick Sweeting is hoping that his path to the NFL will conclude with a home in New Orleans.
In the last 5 years, the Saints have created a track record of undrafted free agents gaining starting spots on the roster. Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas, Courtney Roby, and most recently Joseph Morgan are all examples of players that were able to come in, win a roster spot and make an impact for the team.
Sweeting has one thing in common with undrafted standout Lance Moore; Intelligence. He has very good instincts on the field which keeps him from being out of position on most plays. He has very smooth body control and transition in his read and reaction to the play and has good length to defend most passes.
He was an All-ACC honorable mention in 2011 and tied the team lead with three interceptions. As a senior, he recorded 58 tackles, seven pass breakups and one interception.
He will need to kick his tendency to arm tackle and focus on wrapping up the ball carrier. While he has fluid movement in coverage and ran a 4.42 second 40-time he will have trouble staying with receivers for deeper routes.
He has good height for an NFL corner at 5-foot-11 but will need to gain more weight from 189 lbs to keep up his physical play in the league.
Payton loves picking up guys with high awareness, high class, and have a “leave-it-all-out-on-the-field” mentality. He will need that intelligence to pick up Rob Ryan’s defense where he will likely see limited time.
I could see Sweeting earning a roster spot and contributing on special teams and limited time in Rob Ryan’s defense with the skills that he has going into the start of training camp this year. He was ranked the 28th best corner in the 2013 draft but still has some improvements to make before he challenges for a starting position on defense.