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News » N.O. tried to cap Round 1 with Beanie

N.O. tried to cap Round 1 with Beanie

N.O. tried to cap Round 1 with Beanie
The Malcolm Jenkins-Beanie Wells debate was finally settled on Saturday when the Saints drafted the Ohio State cornerback with the 14th pick in the NFL draft.

But as it turned out, they tried to land both Buckeyes in New Orleans before the day was done.

After Wells fell past the first 20 picks or so, the Saints worked the phones and offered up their first-round pick in next year's draft, among other considerations, to get back into the action to draft the Ohio State tailback.

quot;We started about two minutes after we took Malcolm,quot; Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said of their attempts to pull off the daily double.

They talked with several teams, getting especially serious with New England, which traded out of the No. 23 spot with Baltimore, then traded again out of the No. 26 spot with Green Bay. But Saints Coach Sean Payton said the talks quot;never got far enough alongquot; to pull off the deal.

In the end, the Saints simply didn't have enough ammunition to move back into Day 1 of the draft after trading their second- and third-round picks in previous deals for veteran players Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma.

They still could try to obtain a third-rounder today. But as it stands, the Saints have three picks remaining in the draft -- two fourth-rounders (No. 116 and No. 118) and a seventh-rounder (No. 222).

quot;We're going to regroup and talk about the guys we think might be available to us, talk about the guys we'd like to have if we decide to go up and get a third-round pick,quot; said Loomis, who said the Saints felt good enough about their roster heading into the draft that they didn't need to worry about their lack of total picks.

quot;I don't think our strategy was to accumulate picks in this draft,quot; Loomis said. quot;I don't think we're at that point with our roster for this year, but one thing we wanted to do as best we could was maintain as many of our picks next year as we could.quot;

A power-running tailback remains one of their most pressing needs. But Payton insisted that they won't reach for need, especially during the second day of the draft.

quot;Again, if we think there's an opportunity to help our team -- and it may not be at running back, it may be another position,quot; Payton said. quot;In Beanie's case, it was a specific player. I think the danger is just chasing the position. We feel good about the running backs that we have on this team. There are two guys that haven't played a lot in Lynell Hamilton and Mike Bell, so we'll see how it goes.quot;

If the Saints do target a power runner today, Iowa's Shonn Greene, North Carolina State's Andre Brown, Liberty's Rashad Jennings, Clemson's James Davis and Virginia's Cedric Peerman are among some of the possibilities.

New Orleans also could target an athletic outside linebacker like South Florida's Tyrone McKenzie, a developmental center like Penn State's A.Q. Shipley or young talent along the defensive line. But at this point, they won't be targeting players expected to step right in and make an immediate impact.

quot;The key to success in those rounds is one, having good evaluators, and two, taking the best player off the board,quot; said former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, who now works as an analyst for NFL Network. quot;You're guessing in the first round in the first place. You're sure as heck guessing in the sixth and the seventh.

quot;In my experience, the ones you take with a fifth-round grade in the seventh round are the ones who work out.quot;

The Saints have had a terrific run of success in Day 2 of the draft in recent years, landing such standouts as receiver Marques Colston in Round 7, guard Jahri Evans in Round 4 in 2006 and guard Carl Nicks in Round 5 last year.

Loomis said that run of success will only encourage a repeat performance this time around.

quot;When you hit on guys like Marques Colston and Jahri Evans as well as some others, I think that encourages your scouting staff to look under more rocks, so to speak,quot; Loomis said. quot;Our guys have done a great job of doing that the last few years, and I think they're excited. We have a few candidates in that category from places that don't ordinarily produce a lot of NFL players, and we'll see how that shakes out and see if we're able to acquire one or more of those guys.quot;

Loomis said the Saints will probably add about 10 undrafted free agents immediately after the draft, regardless of how many picks they make today. Draft picks don't count against the roster limit until they sign their contracts -- usually in late summer.

Day 2 of the draft kicks off this morning at 9 a.m., with Detroit leading off the third round.

. . . . . . .

Mike Triplett can be reached at mtriplett@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3405.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 26, 2009

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