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New Orleans Saints Undrafted Rookie Profile: Keith Kirkwood

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An inspirational story could bring underrated talent to the New Orleans receiving corps.

By Bob Rose


The New Orleans Saints have one of the best young wide receivers in the league in Michael Thomas. The rest of the Saints wideouts, however, struggled at times a year ago. Veteran Ted Ginn Jr. had one of the best years of his career in his first season as a Saint, but Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead, and Tommylee Lewis were inconsistent in their production. Snead departed as a free agent this past offseason, but New Orleans signed productive wideout Cameron Meredith away from the Chicago Bears, then used a 3rd round pick on Central Florida's Tre'quan Smith. One other name to look for as a potential contributor in 2018 is the subject of today's undrafted rookie profile.

Keith Kirkwood, WR (Temple)

Kirkwood, like many players, began playing football as a young boy, but basketball was his first love. He led his Neptune High School basketball team to the New Jersey state finals as a junior. He then returned to the gridiron his senior season, earning a scholarship offer to the University of Hawaii, where he scored 4 touchdowns on 12 catches in seven games with the Rainbow Warriors. He left Hawaii after his freshman year, enrolling with Temple after the death of a close friend, and also wanting to be closer to his daughter Aria. Kirkwood received a medical redshirt in 2015, then blossomed...

Carnell invited to Saints minicamp

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By Jeff McIntyre

The former North Alabama cornerback waited patiently to hear from an NFL team after the draft ended Sunday. Just when it seemed as if nothing was going to happen for Carnell he received a call from the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, inviting him to their rookie minicamp next week.

“I had not heard from anybody, so it was a little discouraging until I got that call,” Carnell said. “It didn’t happen when I wanted, but it is all on God’s timing. My family really supported me and I kept praying. I just wanted a chance to get my foot in the door and now I’ve got it.”

Carnell started at cornerback for the Lions the past two seasons after transferring from Grossmont College. The San Diego native recorded 36 tackles, intercepted two passes and broke up 12 during his junior season. As a senior, Carnell recorded first-team All-Gulf South Conference honors after making 28 tackles, intercepting four passes and breaking up eight passes.

Full Article -- Times-Daily

Saints sign undrafted free agents J.T. Gray, Colton Jumper

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By Amos Morale III amorale@nola.com,
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune


The New Orleans Saints signed undrafted free agents J.T. Gray and Colton Jumper, according to the league transaction report posted Thursday (May 3).

Gray is a 6-foot, 202-pound defensive back out Mississippi State who played in 45 games, starting 17, through his four-year career at Mississippi State. He finished his Bulldogs career with 65 tackles, eight pass break-ups, an interception and a forced fumble in his senior year.

Full Article -- Picayune

Saban: Mark Ingram just as competitive on golf course

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Duane Rankin, Montgomery Advertiser

Nick Saban had somewhere to be, but golf partner Mark Ingram wasn’t having it.

Saban was recounting when he and Ingram finished second to Georgia Tech pair Paul Johnson and Jon Berry in the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge at Reynolds Lake Oconee Resort outside Atlanta.

“We were in the playoff with Georgia Tech to win on about the fifth extra hole,” Saban said. “I said, ‘Mark, this is my last hole. I have to go speak.’ There are whole load of people at the plane and they’re all calling every five minutes saying, ‘We’ve got a 1,000 people you got to speak to tonight. We’re going to be late.’”

Full Article -- Montgomery Advertiser

New Orleans Saints 2018 NFL Draft: Why Taysom Hill Is the Winner

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By Dean Mullen

Make no mistake, Taysom Hill has to feel pretty good going into the 2018 season. He will undoubtedly have to beat out Tom Savage to win the backup job. Also, with the acquisition of J.T. Barrett, it’s likely to be a battle for that backup position. Nevertheless, Hill has the coaches’ eyes and some experience being with the team for a solid year.

The fact that the Saints didn’t select a quarterback, has to instill some confidence in Hill. Surely, Who Dat Nation was salivating in round one, when the Saints traded up to move to the 14th overall pick. The thought was that the Saints were going to pick a quarterback. That’s the usual scenario when a team moves up and gives up a couple of draft picks.

Full Article -- LWOS

Saints draft: Boom or bust? Only time will tell!!

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TRACEY JAGNEAUX

NEW ORLEANS -- No question that after last year’s bountiful draft for the New Orleans Saints, the 2018 version of let’s take a chance would be scrutinized in a way that no other draft would be.

No matter who the Saints chose this year, the comparison to 2017 would be made, even though none of the players selected starting last Thursday had even taken a snap in the NFL.

So, how did the Saints do in this year’s installment? That all depends on who you ask. The range of grades looks like the report card of a seventh grader going through the change to adulthood: it is all over the map.
ESPN gave the Saints a C+, putting New Orleans just above average.

Bleacher Report, without providing any explanation with its rankings, gave the Saints a D, the lowest in the league along with Oakland and Seattle.
Yahoo and USA Today agreed with Bleacher Report and also rated the New Orleans draft as being D worthy. However, both NFL.com and CBS Sports had the Saints with a grade of B.

The biggest move of the draft for New Orleans came very early. The Saints made a bold move in the first round Thursday, trading next year’s first-rounder to move up and take Texas-San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport, a player who filled a need for a pressure player at the right defensive end spot the Saints have been trying to fill long-term for years...

Latest Saints News

What will Teddy Bridgewater get in free agency?

  • News source: Mike Florio
  • Replies: 0
Forget TB12, at least for now. There’s another TB who will definitely be a free agent next month, and some are suggesting that Teddy Bridgewater could cash in significantly.

Via multiple accounts on Twitter and elsewhere, Jeremy Fowler said on ESPN Monday that Bridgewater will have a strong market, and that he could make $30 million per year under his next contract.

Needless to say, that would represent a gigantic bump of the one-year, $7.25 million deal...
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Canal Street Chronicles Lagniappe: Share your story

  • News source: cajuncommando58
  • Replies: 0
We haven’t done this in a while and have quite a few new members. Most of us oldtimers know each other and our background. Maybe some of you would like to share your own story. Many are native Louisianians who have been transplanted elsewhere. I’m one of those. Some came from other areas of the country and world. Share how you got here and/or became a Saints fan.

I’ll start it off. I was born in New Iberia,LA. Spent 15 years working in various jobs in the oilfield...
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CSC Podcast Mailbag: Panthers Free Agents, Extensions, NFL Draft

  • News source: BrendenErtle
  • Replies: 0
New Orleans Saints analyst for Canal St. Chronicles Brenden Ertle takes your weekly mailbag questions, Carolina Panthers free agents, who deserves a contract extension and who should the Saints target in the NFL Draft.
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Why the Saints should sign CB Kendall Fuller

  • News source: Andrew_Bell
  • Replies: 0
In the NFL, versatility is key. Every team needs pieces who can fill in multiple spots throughout an injury-ridden NFL season. The Saints have guys like Taysom Hill on offense and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on defense who fit this billing.

With 17 players from the 2019-2020 Saints roster hitting the market as unrestricted free agents, finding more players with this type of versatility helps tremendously.

This is where a guy like Kendall Fuller could come in handy...
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Saints 2019 year in review: Janoris Jenkins

  • News source: BobRose
  • Replies: 0
The New Orleans Saints came into the the 2019 season with arguably the deepest and most talented secondary in franchise history. It was a a standard that they lived up through the midway portion of the season. Cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple would contain some of the best receivers in the NFL one-on-one, giving their physical defense a big advantage over opponents. Apple began to struggle with penalties and blown coverages down the stretch of the year...
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Fleur-de-Links, February 17: New England named a future home for Taysom Hill, Drew Brees worries fans, and Saints should watch Cardale Jones

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
NFL columnist Mike Freeman believes that the New England Patriots will try to sign Taysom Hill, even if Tom Brady returns.

DC Defenders quarterback Cardale Jones would be a good fit for New Orleans Saints in a post-Drew Brees era.

Drew Brees posted an Instagram picture of himself and his wife with a gorilla in the background, but the picture was from 2019.

Charley Casserly of NFL.com says that Colorado’s Laviska Shenault would be a good compliment to Michael...
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How much will free agency reshape Saints' defense?

  • News source: www.espn.com - New Orleans Saints
  • Replies: 0
METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints’ defense doesn’t need an overhaul.

It ranked 11th in the NFL in yards allowed in 2019 -- its best finish in six years. And it had three players named to either the Pro Bowl or first-team All-Pro teams in end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

But depending on how much the Saints choose to pony up in free agency, this unit could look significantly different in 2020.

Five of the nine...
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Saints 2019 Season in Review: Craig Robertson

  • News source: cajuncommando58
  • Replies: 0
The Saints signed Craig Robertson to a 3 year $5 million contract in 2016. He received a 2 year extension in 2019. This freed up some cap space and makes him expendable in 2020. If cut he would only carry $650,000 in dead cap and free up $1,750,000.

Robertson was a valuable signing in 2016, proving his worth in it as well as the 2017 season. 2018 saw a sharp reduction in production. In 2016 he played in 15 games all as the starter, one missed due to injury and...
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5 points of focus as the Saints shape their 2020 roster, depending on 1 big question

  • News source: BY LUKE JOHNSON | Staff writer
  • Replies: 0
Every single area of the New Orleans Saints' roster will be under scrutiny heading into the 2020 season, but since we are not paid as much as the front office folks, let's just narrow it down to the top five.

So, let’s dive right in with the one question that is likely to shape the entire Saints’ off-season.

Is it going to be Drew Brees? Teddy Bridgewater? Taysom Hill?

Someone else?

The thing about it is the Saints truly do not know the answer to this question...
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Saints 2019 Year in Review: Erik McCoy

  • News source: Wallace Delery
  • Replies: 0
Erik McCoy was the player the New Orleans Saints didn't know they needed until they suddenly needed him. On March 16, 2019 the Saints surprisingly lost their Pro Bowl center, Max Unger to retirement. This announcement placed center as an immediate position of need going into the 2019 season. The Saints immediately signed free agent center/guard Nick Easton from Minnesota the very next day, for four years/$24 million. The Saints wisely didn't look at that signing as...
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Could any Saints free agents be franchise tagged?

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
If you were paying attention, February 25th represents the first day NFL teams could franchise tag their pending free agents.

What is a franchise tag? It’s a one-year contract that a team can use on a pending free agent, with the amount set by the collective bargaining agreement, or an amount equal to 110% of the previous year’s salary for the player, whichever is greater. OvertheCap has estimated the franchise tag amounts for the NFL in 2020 by position:

Part of...
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Why the Saints should sign TE Hunter Henry

  • News source: Chris Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
There was a period last year when Jared Cook was out due to injury, that the New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill was the second tight end behind Josh Hill on the roster, with no other tight end available.

The aforementioned Cook is only under contract turning 33 years old later this season, and he’s only under contract for one more year in New Orleans. It’s time the Saints address the position with something that provides a bit more long-term...
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Fleur-de-Links: February 14: Free agents that New Orleans should sign, and speculation on Saints quarterbacks

  • News source: Adam Dunnells
  • Replies: 0
The Bengals offer many free agents that could be an upgrade for the Saints, including wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert.

Analysis on if Taysom Hill can be the Saints’ new franchise quarterback.

NFL Spin Zone recommends that the Saints avoid wide receiver Amari Cooper, tight end Greg Olsen, and linebacker Shaquil Barrett.

Saints Wire provides a list of 31 free agents that the Saints could pursue in the offseason. Highlights include tight end...
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Hearing regarding emails between Saints, Archdiocese will be open to media

  • News source: Josh Alper
  • Replies: 0
The Saints joined the Archdiocese of New Orleans in asking Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Ellen Hazeur to bar the media from a hearing next week regarding whether emails between the team and the Archdiocese about sexual abuse committed by clergy should remain under seal, but their bid was unsuccessful.

Ramon Antonio Vargas of NOLA.com reports that Judge Hazeur ruled on Thursday that the hearing, which is scheduled for Feburary 20, will be open to media...
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