Pitt's Josh Lay finally drafted

University of Pittsburgh cornerback Josh Lay was taken by the New Orleans Saints with the 5th pick in the 6th round of the NFL draft. PantherDigest.com senior writer spoke with Josh shortly after the good news. Read on for details.

PITTSBURGH -- With alumni like Ernie Pitts, Mike Ditka, Sean Gilbert, Ty Law and Charles Fisher selected in previous years, Aliquippa High School grad and former University of Pittsburgh cornerback Josh Lay was taken by the New Orleans Saints with the fifth pick in the sixth round, 174th overall, during the NFL Draft Sunday afternoon.

Lay watched the draft unfold with 25 family members and friends at his father's house in Patterson Township. He was expected to be taken as high as a third- or fourth-round pick, went late into the second day.

"It was nerve-wracking,'' Lay said. "It took me a while to go to sleep (Saturday) night, but I slept all right. And I got up (Sunday) to start watching the draft again. What you need to do is put everything in God's hands, and that's what I did. So, I guess the best place for me is in New Orleans.''

Lay is represented by Michael Huygue from Axcess Sports and Entertainment in Florida, and he believed Lay would be able to contribute to the Saints as an extra defensive back and on special teams.

"Josh didn't get invited to the Senior Bowl, and that's why he dropped into the sixth round,'' Huygue said. "Still, I thought he did a good job at the Combine and during Pitt's Pro Day, but that's all right. We'll get him signed, and he'll be in camp on time. That's his best chance to make an impact.''

Lay appears to have the size at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds,speed, 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, and vertical jump (40.5 inches) at the NFL Combine, to play cornerback in the NFL. But he is unsure how he'll fit in with the Saints.

"I don't know that much about them,'' Lay said. "They didn't have a very good season, but they keep bringing in some young guys to build for the future. So, I just want to be a part of that. Other than the coach that called me to say they drafted me, I haven't talked to anybody else there.

"I talked to their public relations guys, but I haven't even talked to the head coach. They want me to come down there on May 12, so I guess I'll find out everything about them after that. Heck, I've never been to New Orleans before, so I'm just looking forward to that. It should be interesting.''

Another Aliquippa grad, Pitt junior cornerback Darrelle Revis, is expected to declare early for the NFL Draft next season. He got a taste of the festivities while hanging out with Lay this year.

"I just tried to talk with him and keep him calm,'' Revis said. "It was a tough job Saturday, but he was all right (Sunday). I think Josh should have been drafted sooner, but I'm happy for him. And I think he'll do a great job in New Orleans. I can't wait to watch him play for the Saints on TV.''

Lay started 22 of 46 games in four seasons at Pitt and had seven career interceptions with three each in the past two seasons.

Huygue is also former Pitt wideout Greg Lee's agent. Lee left the Panthers after his junior season and was not drafted despite higher expectations by the player and his representation.

"I can't believe Greg didn't get drafted before me,'' Lay said. "He called me to congratulate me, and I told him to hang in there. I know he can play in the NFL, and I'm looking forward to seeing him there.''

Along with Lee, other former Pitt players who could connect with NFL teams via the free-agent route include tight end Erik Gill, linebacker J.J. Horne and safety Tez Morris.


Panther Digest Top Stories