The New Orleans Saints continue to light it up in the undrafted free agent market. Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis seem to be looking for those hidden gems that they’re so great at discovering. One new name Saints fans should get to know is Lawrence Virgil. Virgil signed with the Black and Gold out of the Gulf South Conference’s Valdosta State University located in Georgia.
He is a defensive tackle that was projected to go in rounds 6-7 of the 2014 NFL Draft. During his freshman year as a tight end in 2010, Virgil played in all 11 games (did not start), but failed to record a stat. He made the switch to the defensive line in 2011 and had an outstanding year as a sophomore totaling 30 tackles (8.5 for a loss) and a team high five sacks.
As a junior in 2012, he started all 14 games, including the postseason. Virgil recorded 52 total tackles (12 for a loss), six sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a pass breakup and a safety in the playoffs. He earned Honorable Mention All-America, first-team All-Super Region 2 and second-team All-Gulf South. During his senior year in 2013, Virgil finished with 48 tackles (8.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He was a force to be reckoned with in the Gulf South Conference.
Virgil did not attend the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, but ran a 5.0 second 40-yard dash, benched 225 pounds a ridiculous 39 times, had a vertical jump of 31 inches and a 112-inch broad jump. At a towering 6-foot-5, he has excellent size and strength, moves well and has great athletic ability. He is a bit underweight for his height at 287 pounds, but has plenty of room for growth. It will be interesting to see if the young talent makes the cut for the Saints’ 53-man roster. College and pros are two different games, but Virgil definitely possesses the skills to make it at the next level.