We’re approaching the end of another week and the dust continues to settle around the 2013 NFL draft for the New Orleans Saints. Not only that, the underrated undrafted free agency-period is stealing all of the headlines as of late for the Saints—and for good reason.
Today we’ll examine a few of the Saints undrafted free agents such as Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas, figure out what the team should do with Kenny Vaccaro and more.
Per Mike Triplett:
Longtime NFL scouting guru Gil Brandt was extremely high on the Saints’ third-round choices of Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead and Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins. Before the draft, Brandt had Jenkins rated 38th overall among draft prospects and Armstead 55th.
WalterFootball Says Chase Thomas Was Best Undrafted Signing in NFL
Per Charlie Campbell:
Best Undrafted Free Agent Signing: New Orleans Saints: OLB Chase Thomas
Thomas was viewed as a second-day prospect for a lot of the draft process. He had a solid 2012 season which wasn’t as impressive as his junior season. Thomas stock was hurt by a disappointing Senior Bowl as he moved from playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. Still, Thomas has consistently been an impact pass-rusher over the past two years with a total of 16 sacks.
The Saints are transitioning to a 3-4 defense, and Thomas could compete for playing time immediately with Martez Wilson and Junior Galette. Thomas isn’t the biggest or the fastest, but he is a tough football player. It wouldn’t be surprising if Thomas makes the team and provides an impact in 2013.
Honorable mentions: Carolina S Robert Lester, New Orleans CB Rod Sweeting, Jacksonville TE Ryan Otten, Washington OT Xavier Nixon, Seattle G Alvin Bailey, Tennessee RB Stefphon Jefferson, Houston RB Ray Graham, Houston RB Dennis Johnson, Houston RB Cierre Wood, Baltimore QB Nathan Stanley, Cleveland OT Chris Faulk and Buffalo WR Da’Rick Rogers.
Per Gary Davenport:
The Saints could even slide Jenkins or Vaccaro to the slot and then adjust the safeties accordingly.
The point is that it would be folly for the Saints to pigeonhole Vaccaro at one position. In today’s pass-wacky NFL, the line between free safeties and strong safeties has become blurred. On many teams those names are little more than that: a name.
It’s unfortunate for in-the-box “thumpers” like Harper (who are going the way of the dinosaur), but luckily for the Saints, Kenny Vaccaro very much fits the mold of the new-age safety in the NFL, a player capable of wearing many hats.