The New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms with two of their 2008 draft choices, reaching deals with sixth-round pick kicker Taylor Mehlhaff and seventh-round selection wide receiver Adrian Arrington on three-year contracts. Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced the agreements Thursday.
"After watching these players progress through minicamps and the offseason program, we're eager to see them compete in training camp and on into game action," Loomis said. "Both of these young men are players that could make an impact on our ballclub."
Mehlhaff, a 5-foot-10, 184-pound kicker out of the University of Wisconsin, became the first kicker drafted by the Saints since Morten Andersen in 1982 when selected with the 178th overall pick in the sixth round. The left-footed kicker was a first-team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association for the Badgers as a senior in 2007 in addition to earning All-Big Ten Conference honors.
Over four seasons in Madison, the native of Aberdeen, S.D. booted 50 field goals in 65 attempts, going 21-for-25 (84%) as senior and converted 145 of 148 point after tries. Noted for his strong leg, 43% (123 of 287) of Mehlhaff's career kickoffs went for touchbacks, including more than 60% of them in his final two collegiate seasons.
The team's final draft pick in 2007, Arrington was selected by the Saints in the seventh round with the 237th overall selection, a choice acquired via a trade with the Green Bay Packers for a 2009 sixth-round pick. The 6-3, 192-pound receiver played 35 career games for the University of Michigan, catching 109 passes for 1,438 yards (13.2 avg.) and 16 touchdowns.
Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Arrington chose to forgo a remaining year of college eligibility after posting career highs as a junior with 67 grabs for 882 yards with eight touchdowns, earning the Desmond Howard Award as the Wolverines' top receiver. Starting all 13 games, the lanky wideout also threw a touchdown pass on a reverse.