Day Two: Saints Finish Draft on High Note

Saints fans should be extremely happy at the 2002 Saints draft, as this is by far the best all-around draft of the Mueller/Haslett era. The team got excellent value picks on day two and had a tremendous day one with adding speed and strength at key positions.

What a weekend for the New Orleans Saints organization. On paper this is one of the best drafts of the past 10-12 years for the team. GM Randy Meuller and his staff really did their homework and put together a very talented group of young players.

In round four, the Saints continued with their drafting of high value players when they picked up Nebraska's 5'10", 201-pound cover man, Keyuo Craver. Craver was once considered to be a top 50 picks, but recent workouts and the a the scare of his neck injury sustained at the Senior Bowl were concerns for many NFL teams. Nonetheless, this picks was of high value and he should become the nickel back right away. This could mean that Kevin Mathis will be a June 1st casualty.

The fifth round proved valuable as well when the Saints grabbed Western Kentucky's FS/SS prospect, Melvin Mitchell. The 6'0", 220-pound Mitchell has been among one of the top FS in the draft since September according to Matt Gambill, president of All-Pro Scouting Services. "Mitchell was rated as a top 100 prospect on my board, so for the Saints to get a quality player like this in round five is excellent," said Gambill. Mitchell will likely be asked to contribute mainly on special teams, but he should secure the back up role to both Sammy Knight an Jay Bellamy.

With our two sixth round picks, th Saints drafted two offensive players in Penn State TE John Gillmore and Cal-Davis QB J.T. O'Sullivan. According to Gambill, O'Sullivan has an excellent chance in being the #2 QB behind Aaron Brooks. "O'Sullivan is an excllent athlete for the QB position and has an NFL caliber arm. He can make all of the throws and should he perform well in camp, he could jump ahead of Jake Delhomme." O'Sullivan is a 6'2", 234-pounder with low 4.7 speed and was teammate to Onome Ojo who the Saints took in round five a year ago.

With the final pick of the 2002 Saints draft, the team selected DE Derrius Monroe out of Virginia Tech. The 6'3", 273-pound Monroe ran a 4.53 at the combine in March and is considered to be a project. He has gotten into a bit of trouble off the field, but has overcome that and now is in a good position to make the Saints' defensive end rotation. Defensive line coach Sam Clancy told that he is excited to have tow good athletes on the d-line like Charles Grant and Monroe. "I'm excited because I will have the chance to mold this kids and hopefully turn them into good NFL players," said Clancy.

In free agency, the Saints signed Texas Tech RB Ricky Williams(How ironic), Temple FS/SS/CB/WR Chonn Lacey, and Florida MLB Travis Carroll. More rookie free agents will be added in the next few days.

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