Every year prior to the draft the New Orleans Saints invite a few players from LSU to tryout. This year the Saints have invited defensive back Daniel Graff and defensive tackle Drake Nevis. The tryout with is scheduled for April 14th.
Daniel Graff was quoted as saying..
"Ron Cooper, LSU defensive backs coach put in a good word for me, and the Saints called and asked me to come to the tryout. I know they are interested in me."
As a Metairie native, Graff made it clear it was black-and-gold blood that coursed through his veins.
"I’ve always been a real big Saints fan. Even when they wern’t on TV a lot, my dad and I used to listen on the radio. I was a huge Steve Gleason fan."
Graff, who once had a track scholarship, has blazing speed and solid tackling skills and proved to be one of the best special teams players at LSU the past two seasons.
Drake Nevis has been invited to work out for the New Orleans Saints also, Nevis developed a injured foot getting ready for the combine and also pulled out of the senior Bowl because of the injury.
This is another opportunity for Nevis to improve his chances of moving up in the draft. It would help him immensely if he is able to prove he is in shape and injury free.
Nevis is 6-foot-2 and weighs 285 pounds, whom LSU’s legendary defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey tabbed in 2007 as the next great Tigers defensive player to be drafted into the NFL.
During his senior year in 2010, Nevis was a first team All-Southeastern Conference player and a first-team All-American with CBS Sports. He ranks 9th all-time at LSU in tackles for loss with 31.5.
There isn’t much doubt Nevis will hear his name called during the 2011 NFL draft and this opportunity that the Saints are giving him, may allow him to move up higher than most draft predictions have him, a mid to late second rounder.
The defensive front seven appears to be the area the Saints will seek to address in the upcoming draft, even with the addition of Shaun Rogers.
The Saints have a connection with LSU that both clubs have worked hard to maintain and the Saints team executives have made clear they value.
Last year, within minutes of the 2010 draft conclusion, the Saints announced they had signed former LSU safety and linebacker Harry Coleman to a free agent contract, and Coleman spent considerable time last season on the practice squad roster.
Will either one of these players make the team, no one can be for sure. Look for the Saints to give these players every opportunity to prove that they can contribute to the organization, and become part of the Who Dat Nation.