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News » New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-03-27

New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-03-27

New Orleans Saints Inside Slant 2009-03-27
Now that the Saints have taken care of their most pressing needs in the first month of the free agency signing period, the team's front office, coaches and scouting department have set their sights on the upcoming draft.

The Saints did what they could with a limited amount of salary cap space, re-signing the top three priorities on their own roster -- middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, right tackle Jon Stinchcomb and wide receiver Devery Henderson -- and acquiring several players from other teams as well.

The biggest pickups from the open market were cornerback Jabari Greer, free safety Darren Sharper, defensive end Paul Spicer and center/guard Nick Leckey. Greer and Sharper are expected to become immediate starters, while Spicer and Leckey give them depth on the offensive and defensive fronts.

The free agency haul will allow the Saints to do what they like to do: target the best available player when they go on the clock with the 14th pick in the first round on April 25. Or, if they choose, they can drop back to the latter part of the first round to acquire some extra picks.

Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters at the NFL owners meetings the team still has positional needs and that they will consider taking a running back, safety, outside linebacker, defensive tackle and cornerback with their top pick.

"We're going to try to draft the best player for our needs and (his) ability, but you don't want to be pigeon-holed into drafting solely on need," Payton said in an hour-long session with the media at the league meetings in Dana Point, Calif.

Still, Payton pointed to free safety as his team's most pressing need although they addressed that later in the week. In addition to bringing in Sharper, they signed veteran Pierson Prioleau on Thursday and could move third-year cornerback Usama Young to safety as well.

A power running back and outside linebacker tied for second on Payton's list.

Those two positions make a lot of sense because the Saints must replace Deuce McAllister and their two starting outside linebackers -- Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle -- have only one and two years left, respectively, on their contracts.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 27, 2009

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Rodrique Wright Name: Rodrique Wright
Position: DT
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Texas
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