With their last pick in the 2014 NFL draft the Saints selected Tavon Rooks, offensive tackle from Kansas State. The young man spent the last two years on the right side of the offensive line with the Wildcats, after transferring from Navarro Junior College in 2012.
Rooks, listed at 6’5″/280, now weighs about 300 pounds but plans to drop a few during the offseason. He’s a good pass protector as well as a run blocker and he’s definitely ready to prove that he’s worth a spot on the final roster, as he declared to neworleanssaints.com in a recent interview:
All I can do is just compete. I mean the spot’s not given to me, I’ve got to go out there and earn it. Whatever I’ve got to do, I’m there. If I’ve got to play guard, I’ll play guard. Even if I’ve got to punt the ball, whatever I’ve got to do to make the team. I’ve just got to do my job. Compete, that’s what I’m going to do. I want to touch the field, so that’s what I want to do.
Sean Payton talked about Rooks while reviewing the draft, highlighting his “real good feet and real good athleticism“. Payton also added that they see him “exclusively” as a right tackle.
Tavon Rooks has similar measurables to Zach Strief’s and the organization clearly believes that the rookie can eventually replace Strief as the starting right tackle, while learning from the veteran.
I couldn’t be more happy with this pick: in my latest mock draft I had the Saints taking an offensive tackle (and sit him behind Zach Strief for a few years) exactly in the sixth round. Nailed it!