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New Orleans Saints 2011 NFL Draft Review
By Scott Garbarini, NFL Editor

1 - Cameron Jordan, DE, California (5-9, 215);
1 - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama (5-9, 215);
3 - Martez Wilson, OLB, Illinois (6-3, 250);
3 - Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville (5-11, 191);
7 - Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh (6-5, 264);
7 - Nate Bussey, OLB, Illinois (6-1, 228)

Top Picks Analysis: The Saints went into the draft seeking a strongside defensive end who can both stuff the run and pressure the passer and got their man in Jordan, the son of former Pro Bowl tight end Steve Jordan who fell to the 24th overall pick only because of the extraordinary depth at his position in this class. GM Mickey Loomis then got aggressive, trading New Orleans' second-round choice and next year's first-rounder to New England to land 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Ingram, a ready-made NFL back with exceptional vision whose presence likely makes the high-priced Reggie Bush expendable. Wilson was the fastest linebacker at the combine and can fit inside or out, though he'll need to improve his tackling skills and feel for the game to become a reliable starter.

Best Value Pick: Jordan was a great get at No. 24, but Romeus could be an absolute steal in the seventh round. The 2009 Big East Defensive Player of the Year was considered a first-round talent entering his senior season at Pitt, but missed nearly all of his final year with a bad back and torn ACL. He could be an impact pass rusher at the next level if able to regain his pre-injury form.

We Question Why: Loomis paid such a high price for Ingram with Bush, Pierre Thomas and impressive 2010 rookie Chris Ivory already under contract at running back. Patrick, a fast and promising corner, also plays at a loaded position and may encounter difficulty seeing the field early on.

Summary: The Saints made the most of their six selections and should have two instant contributors in Jordan and Ingram, while Wilson, Patrick and Romeus all have the potential to be starters in time. The only negative is the relinquishing of next year's first-rounder.


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