New Orleans Saints Sophomore Spotlight: Pierre Warren
The New Orleans Saints are finally loaded at the defensive back position, especially with some real true talent at the safety spots. With Kenny Vaccaro looking to rebound and Jairus Byrd returning from injury, good things should come from that unit. But today, we’re going to focus on an underdog. This afternoon, we take a look at Pierre Warren as part of out ‘Sophomore Spotlight’ series.
Small schools mean nothing in the NFL, and Warren proved that on several occasions as a rookie a season ago. The 2014 undrafted free agent from Jacksonville State showed that he’s got some fight in his game.
From the moment minicamp kicked off, Pierre Warren seemed to be all over the field, picking off passes, batting away balls, and just truly displaying a kind of energy every team in the NFL looks for out of their players.
Warren was a staple in Jacksonville State’s defense. He played three years with the Gamecocks, starting at safety his final two years as a sophomore and junior. During his time in college, he accumulated 166 tackles, eight interceptions, 29 passes defended, a forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns.
That talent seemed to transition over well at the professional level. Shortly after the midseason point, Warren was thrown into a starting role, thanks to poor play from Vaccaro and injuries to Byrd, Rafael Bush and Vinnie Sunseri.
Warren held his ground, starting in the final six games and totaling 30 combined tackles, four passes defended, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He finished with a positive overall grade in pass coverage — a noticeable weakness in Rob Ryan‘s unit. Not too shabby for somebody whose chances were slim to even make the final cut.
Of course, with guys looking to return to form, Pierre Warren will have to put up another fight at training camp in 2015. New Orleans is currently home to seven safeties. That includes all of the above, along with Jamarca Sanford and Kenny Phillips, and it’s likely only five of them will make the cut when the roster is eventually trimmed down to 53 men. Coach Sean Payton will pick the best man for the job, and the door is wide open for Warren. He’s certainly somebody to root for as the summer progresses.
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