Steuber breaks down the Saints' draft

Saintsinsider.com's Matthew Postins had the opportunity to speak to Scout.com draft expert Chris Steuber right after the NFL Draft about the New Orleans Saints and how they did on draft week. What does Chris think about selections like Sedrick Ellis, Terry Porter and Adrian Arrington? Find out in this exclusive article.

Matthew Postins: The Saints didn't get their man in Glenn Dorsey, but they did get a defensive tackle in Sedrick Ellis. Is Ellis a consolation prize or the guy that can give the Saints the defensive push they need inside for the next 10 years?

Chris Steuber: Sedrick Ellis isn't a consolation prize; he's a legitimate interior presence who will be an outstanding player in the NFL. In my Pre-Draft Defensive Awards feature, I named Ellis as my "Shot Caller," which means I believe he will be the best DT his class. The Saints got exactly what they need on the defensive line – a guy who plays with a non-stop motor and makes positive plays in the backfield.

Scout.com's Chris Steuber believes that Indiana's Tracy Porter has the speed to be effective in New Orleans' defense. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Matthew Postins: Should Saints fans be disappointed that they ended up with Indiana CB Tracy Porter and not other second-round graded players like Arizona's Antoine Cason or Virginia Tech's Brandon Flowers? What does Porter bring to the defense?

Chris Steuber: I think Porter was an excellent selection in the second round. He's a playmaker who has great ball skills and tremendous speed. The only concern I have about Porter's game is that he's not physical; he couldn't tackle a stuffed animal. But he has great quickness and blankets receivers. Some of the best cover corners in the game can't tackle, but they're always in position to make plays on the ball.

Matthew Postins: The Saints waited several hours to take DeMario Pressley, a player who comes from a program known recently for producing tackles. But did the Saints really need him? Or can he combine with Ellis down the road to form a solid tackle tandem inside?

Chris Steuber: Pressley was great value in the fifth round, but he's had injury problems over the last two years. If Pressley was injury free at NC State, he probably would have been a first round pick; that's how good he can be. Pressley can be a very good DT in the NFL, and with Sedrick Ellis by his side, maybe his true potential will be realized.

Matthew Postins: The Saints needed to address the offensive line, specifically at center, but didn't. Was that a mistake? And talk about the selection of Carl Nicks. Is this guy a pure tackle, or can he swing to guard, or even center?

Chris Steuber: This wasn't a great class of centers, and I'm not surprised the Saints didn't draft one. But they could have used their sixth round pick on a player like Notre Dame's John Sullivan instead of selecting kicker Taylor Mehlhaff. Mehlhaff was probably the best kicker in the draft, so I can't fault them for that selection. Nicks is a bit of an enigma. He's a massive lineman who can dominate upfront, but he relies too much on his strength and isn't much of a technician. I don't think he's a left tackle. He's a little slow and doesn't move well laterally. He's probably best suited to play RT or guard.

Matthew Postins: Time to talk about the kicker, Taylor Mehlhaff. He's accurate but doesn't have a lot of length. But rookie kickers aren't drafted often, so what does that tell you about his chances of beating out Martin Gramatica?

Chris Steuber: Like I said, I thought Mehlhaff was the best kicker in this draft. He's very consistent inside the forty, but yes, he doesn't have the strongest leg. I think Gramatica has a chance to make the Saints roster after converting some crucial field goals last season. The Saints may consider using Mehlhaff as the kickoff specialist, as he's improved his distance kicking off a tee. But I don't think the Saints have the luxury to take up three roster spots for two kickers and a punter.

Matthew Postins: Was Adrian Arrington a steal in the seventh round or is this a player that really should have waited one more year?

Chris Steuber: I think Arrington should have returned to Michigan for his senior season. He's a big target with great hands, but he lacks speed. He showed flashes at Michigan and has an upside. The Saints now have an interesting pair of late round receivers with Marques Colston (7th round pick, 252nd overall in 2006) and Arrington. I don't think you can compare Arrington to Colston, but they have similar attributes and skills.

Matthew Postins: Finally, Chris, what did you think about New Orleans's draft overall?

Chris Steuber: I'd give the Saints a B.



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