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News » New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-27

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-27

New Orleans Saints Notes, Quotes 2009-04-27
--While they didn't have a lot of picks to start with, the Saints did not select an offensive player in the draft for the first time in their 43-year history.

They went for Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in the first round and used their two fourth-round choices on a pair of Wake Forest teammates -- free safety Chip Vaughn and linebacker Stanley Arnoux. Finally, they grabbed SMU punter Thomas Morstead in the fifth round.

The thought of that happening was unimaginable for Saints fans considering coach Sean Payton also serves as the team's play-caller. It's no secret that Payton, who has fielded the league's top offense in two of his three seasons in New Orleans, is partial to that side of the ball.

Payton even got a good chuckle out of it after the draft was completed.

"I think some of you (reporters) think it just kills me not to draft an offensive player," Payton joked. "That's not the case. As a head coach, I want to win. I want what's best for our team."

--While several teams projected Saints first-round draft pick Malcolm Jenkins as a free safety, Payton will try out the former Ohio State All-American at his natural cornerback position.

"He's extremely intelligent and I think he's a guy that's very competitive," Payton said. "We think he's very mature. I think his intangibles when it comes to football IQ and toughness -- those are all things that will help him be successful at this next level, regardless of position."

Jenkins, who played some free safety at Ohio State, said he'd welcome a move to that position if the Saints decided to do that, but said it doesn't matter where he winds up playing.

"I can see myself playing corner, being a dominant corner and having a lot of success," he said. "I also can see myself doing the same thing at safety. I just want to find a home at a position and start getting better at it, so I can contribute as much as possible."

Jenkins said he played both cornerback and safety in almost every game during his junior season, which will serve him well if the Saints decide to switch him to the back end of the secondary.

"It gave me experience in terms of learning defenses and what everybody is supposed to do," Jenkins said. "That's something I did at Ohio State from the corner position. It's about learning the defenses and the film study."

--The Saints will hold a rookie minicamp May 8-10, which Jenkins will be able to attend.

But after that, he'll have to return to finish his class work and won't be able to participate in organized team activities until after graduation the second week of June. That means he'll also miss the full-squad minicamp set for June 5-7.

--Saints coaches and scouts were on the phones as soon as the draft ended Sunday night trying to line up undrafted free agents to fill out their roster.

While the team won't announce any signings until later in the week, Payton said they expected to sign about 10 free agents to fill in spots where they could because they had only four draft picks.

"Probably when all is said and done, (we'll sign) three guys in the secondary, one linebacker, a couple of defensive linemen and probably three offensive linemen," said Payton.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's one of those guys that we feel like can help us very quickly on defense. We see him as a player that has size, real good ball skills, and toughness. He has versatility, but we felt in evaluating him that he was an exceptional corner at Ohio State." -- Saints coach Sean Payton, on the selection of cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in the first round of the draft.

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

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