Ask Mike – March 27, 2008 (1 Viewer)

Dan in Lafayette

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Aug 1, 1997
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Lafayette, LA

Ask Mike – March 27, 2008

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From: Big Boat


Mike, I just wish you would be on WWL-Radio more. It is sad to hear these guys talk about a player like PacMan Jones coming to New Orleans based off of some rumor and I hear you say on a national show that there is no interest on the Saints part.

Why would Sean Payton go after a player with all his baggage, when has hasn&#8217;t done it in the past?

The important question is when will the draft book be out?

Is Jonathan Vilma the best off-season acquisition for this team?

Has your old buddy Ed Orgeron given you any hints on what this team will do on draft day?


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Big Boat, I cannot imagine the Saints going after Pacman. You said it best. Why would Peyton go after someone with this type of buildup of bad behavior when he has stayed clear of these guys in the past? Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but let him go to Dallas and see what happens there. I wouldn&#8217;t have any interest and there is no guarantee that the Commissioner will OK his return to the league in 2008.

The Commissioner has never given the thumbs-up to Odell Thurman and he has been out of the league for two seasons. I think Pacman is headed to Dallas.

The book is at the printers and we are expecting it to be back to us either April 1st or 2nd.

Vilma is the best acquisition, but I really like the pick-up of Bobby McCray also. He is a very inconsistent performer, but if someone can push the right buttons on him, he could turn out to be an excellent addition due to his pass rush skills and this team desperately needs that element brought to the defensive table.

The Saints have to bring in players via the draft to help out the free agent acquisitions of McCray, Vilma and R. Gay because you just can&#8217;t keep trying to outscore people offensively each and every week. You have to play solid defense and this team right now just doesn&#8217;t have enough good players on that side of the ball.

The good thing about the above three are that they all are at an age when they should be playing their best football in the NFL and they have stayed away from older players, like a Brian Simmons, where you could get a player that hits the football-age wall quickly.

Ed and I have had some football chats but even if he told me something behind the scenes, I wouldn&#8217;t say it. He has a job to do and I have my job, but certain matters are kept in house and Ed does a good job keeping those cards close to his vest. What Orgeron can do is give good insights on players he recruited or tried to recruit at either USC or Ole Miss and that should help the organization when making a choice on some players. He is a good talent evaluator.

Saints WR coach Curtis Johnson had those same sort of insights because he was a great recruiter at Miami (Fla.) and knows the Southern-based college players very well.

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From: baarbogast


Hi Mike,

1. I'm up here in Big 10 Country. I read Shawn Crable and J Leman both had injuries or were injured in the Senior Bowl. What is their present status?

2. Do you see the Saints spending both day 1 picks on the same position? If he falls, selecting Dorsey and then Laws or maybe Cromartie and then either Cason or Talib.

3. What do you think of Thomas Williams-USC?

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1. Baarbogast, Shawn Crable is OK. He ran at the Combine and worked out well at the Michigan Pro Day. A little mixed opinion on where his best position is in the pros, but I believe he is best suited for an OLB spot in a 3-4 alignment.

J Leman is still rehabbing his ankle, which he had surgical work on after the season. Tough kid, real instinctive and productive in college, but lacks great speed and up-the-field play-making skills and it will drop him into the later rounds of the draft. Good back-up MLB and special teams performer.

2. No. I think it will be heavily defensive, but not a multiple pick on one position. They don&#8217;t have that luxury and with holes at DT, CB, LB, TE, and halfback, they can fill in three of those spots in the top three rounds of the draft, but I can&#8217;t see them make multiple picks in Rounds 1 & 2 on the same spot in the first day.

3. Interesting late round pick player in Thomas Williams from USC. He has played all three linebacker spots and even fullback in college. He also has great value as a special teams performer. 5th or 6th round pick and Williams has always impressed me with his play, when he has started. His versatility and his special team skills will upgrade his draft stock.

The Saints should know a lot about him, Ed Orgeron, their D-Line coach, recruited him to USC.

Good questions.

Take care.

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From: mean machine


A year ago, you said Darren McFadden is the best SEC running back since Emmitt Smith. He has taken a lot of knocks leading up to the draft, so I wondered if you still like him as much. If so, should the Saints take him at #10 assuming Dorsey and Ellis are gone? Or should we stick with defense no matter what?

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Mean Machine, I still believe he was the best runner in the SEC since Emmitt Smith and despite the usual knocks from cats that have not seen him nearly as much as I have, the guy is a tremendous football player and my top rated player in the 2008 draft class.

I certainly don&#8217;t think he will be there at #10, the 6th and 7th spots in Round 1 seem to be the where he will go, but if he were there, I would not hesitate a second to select him at 10.

I believe the Saints will go defense (McKelvin, Cromartie or K. Rivers), but can you imagine that if, and I say if, the Jets pass on him at 6, the New England Patriots selecting him at 7. That would be one hell of a team to watch again in 2008 with McFadden in the lineup.

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From: David Robbins


Well, I guess you are real busy with the draft right around the corner. Here are my questions:

1. What do you think about the Saints getting Rogers Cromartie at #10? I watched him at the combine and can't remember when I have ever seen such a smooth CB he doesn't waste any movements at all, and he is very fluid in the hips. I'd love for the Saints to take a chance on this guy.

2. What do you think about the change at Ole Miss? Your buddy Ed Orgeron is now the D-line coach at New Orleans and I think that was a great move. I love Houston Nutt as the new HC at Ole Miss. He is almost as good a recruiter as Orgeron, but he is a better HC.

3. What's up with the Saints bypassing Takeo Spikes for oft injured Dan Morgan? Was this a good move by the organization?

4. Who do you expect the Saints to take at DT in the draft, and, in what round?

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1. I am a big DRC fan. Dominique has excellent size, tremendous recovery ability and he has excellent coverage instincts and ball reaction skills. He is still a little rough around the edges-technique wise, but in my opinion he is a guy that will be selected within the top 11 picks in this draft, and I have him rated as the 2nd best cornerback in this draft class, in a tight race with Troy&#8217;s Leodis McKelvin.

2. I am a big Houston Nutt fan. I think he is a heck of a coach and as you pointed out a good recruiter. Things didn&#8217;t work out with Ed, but he left that school, personnel wise, a lot better than when he took the job. Houston needs Jevan Snead to really develop into a big-time performer at QB. They need a big body in the middle at DT and a good cover-man at cornerback, but Nutt is a really good coach and recruiter and I think it was a great move by Ole Miss to grab him up.

In my opinion what sunk O&#8217;s boat was that he had in many instances a weak staff. Some of those guys were great recruiters, but some were not the best coaches and it showed up. Houston&#8217;s staff in my opinion is much stronger and as you pointed out Houston is an experienced head coach and will not make the freshman mistakes Coach O made at Ole Miss personnel-wise and coaching-wise.

3. A league friend told me that Takeo is basically done as a top-flight NFL performer and has never been the same since the Achilles injury. Interesting, is that Dan is rehabbing the same type of injury right now. I believe Morgan has more talent right now, but I have great concerns about the head injuries and certainly the Achilles injury. It is a gamble either way if you are looking to find a starter. Let&#8217;s just hope Dan can come back well from the injury and stay clear from the head injuries at weak side LB, but it was a calculated gamble.

4. Personally I think the Saints really want LSU&#8217;s Glenn Dorsey, but it will be very hard to get up that high to acquire him at the #3 spot. I think that Sedrick Ellis is the fall-back guy. If he lasts to #7, the N.E. Patriots pick, I see them trying to move up to get him. If not, Round 2 looks like the spot to pick a defensive tackle. I also believe they want to take one in the later rounds also.

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From: Guillermo


We never know what is going to happen, but as I see it now, the defensive tackles will be gone by the time the Saints pick and we may have a chance of choosing the first cornerback and/or linebacker.

As of now I see Leodis McKelvin and Dominique Rogers-Cromartie as the top corners, with Mike Jenkins as #3.

From what I have read, Leodis is great in man coverage, has great reactions but can't catch a cold. Besides his defensive play, he is an asset as a return man. Rogers-Cromartie is a work in progress, raw but with incredible upside, can play the return game. Mike Jenkins is maybe the most ready to start, but his personality may be an issue.

My question for you is, who do you think may translate better to the Saints scheme, and if they are not ready to start, do you think also that their abilities are worth to even red-shirt them instead of taking a more ready to start player?

Anther question, based on your preference, which of these players would you prefer the Saints to pick?

Finally, whom would you prefer to take instead Rivers? He is a very solid option (maybe not a star) on a position that needs to get younger.

Thanks as always, Guillermo

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G, McKelvin or Cromartie would be the best fits. Leodis brings great value also as a return man. DRC has also returned kicks, but he isn&#8217;t nearly as good at it as Leodis. Both good man-to-man cover guys and while their styles are a little different, both are really good cornerback prospects.

Mike Jenkins I would pass on him at 10. Some team will take him in Round 1, but he plays up and down to the competition and he is a &#8220;diva&#8221; player on and off the field and wants special treatment from coaches. He has excellent man-to-man cover skills and he physically is well built and fast, but he just doesn&#8217;t play hard each week. He can turn out to be the very best of the cornerbacks in this draft or he may be just an average NFL player. That is part of his makeup.

Personally, I think all three could start immediately in the NFL. All three are talented and there is no reason for them to sit and watch. In my opinion when you pick someone as high as 10, you better be able to start in this league, so I believe McKelvin or Cromartie would both have the best chance to start in their rookie season. It is close and very close between Cromartie and McKelvin, but I gave the edge to Leodis because of his outstanding return skills.

Keith Rivers is a very good prospect. He is smart, very instinctive and he knows how to play his weak side spot very well. He is not a guy that freelances and he plays his spot like he is taught to. I don&#8217;t think that Rivers will ever be a great player, but he will always be a very good NFL starter. There are very few great football players, but Rivers is a very good one, very sharp and he is a high quality young man on and off the field.

If the Saints keep the 10 spot then Rivers, Cromartie and McKelvin ( if he is still on the board) would be in the bullpen.

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If you have a question for Mike, just go to the top of the Superforum entry page and submit your question in the "Ask Mike Detillier" forum at the top of the page.

If you want to order Mike&#8217;s 2008 Draft Guide, click here to go to Mike&#8217;s Draft Corner.

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