New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced today that the team has signed defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, the first of their two fifth-round draft choices, to a three-year contract. The rookie lineman out of North Carolina State is the first of the Saints' six 2008 draft choices to agree to terms with the club.
"DeMario is a player that our scouts and coaches were very impressed with coming out of college," Loomis said. "We think he fits well in our defense and expect him to perform at a high level in our program."
Pressley, a 6-foot-3-inch, 301-pound native of Greensboro, N.C., was the Saints' first pick of the second day of the April draft and the first of their two fifth-round selections. Chosen with the 144th overall pick, the former Wolfpack standout was the team's third draftee this year.
Starting 31 of the 42 games he played on the collegiate level, Pressley tallied 145 career tackles (94 solo), 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The three-year starter was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a junior in 2006 and earned honorable mention for the all-league team as a senior in '07.
In a corresponding transaction, the Saints waived wide receiver Titus Ryan, bringing the number of players on the active roster to the NFL-maximum of 80.