2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Saints take Oklahoma WR and a DE in the NFL draft

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-27 19:26

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - The New Orleans Saints scanned the full spectrum of prospects during the final rounds of the NFL draft, bringing in a major college receiver whose father played in the NFL and a little-known Division II defensive lineman.

The Saints selected Oklahoma wideout Kenny Stills Jr. with their fifth round pick, then picked up Tarleton State defensive end Rufus Johnson in the sixth round.

``I've kind of been trained that real good football players come from everywhere,'' coach Sean Payton said. ``Certainly more of them come from the larger conferences. ... That being said, there's no science to this draft.''

The 6-foot, 194-pound Stills was New Orleans' first pick on Saturday because the club dealt its fourth-round pick as part of a trade with Miami in order to select Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins with the 82nd overall pick Friday night.

Stills, the son of former NFL safety Kenny Stills, had a 40-yard dash time of 4.38 at the NFL combine. His uncle, Gary Stills, also played in the NFL, at linebacker.

``Since age six, when I started playing football, I dreamed of playing in the NFL, especially being that my dad played,'' Stills said. ``Now I just have to go out there and prove myself and have a great career.''

Last season, Stills was named All-Big 12 after making 82 receptions for 959 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The selection of Stills marks the third straight season that New Orleans drafted a player whose father played in the NFL. Two seasons ago, it was two in the first round in Cam Jordan and Mark Ingram. Last year, it was Nick Toon.

Stills said he believes pedigree can help.

``It's the understanding we have about the business. We know how we have to treat it,'' Stills said. ``We have to come in and work our tails off every single day and nothing less is expected from us.''

Stills, who grew up in San Diego and who during high school ran routes for Drew Brees during Brees' offseason workouts, started 38 games for the Sooners. He had 2,594 yards receiving and 24 TDs in his three seasons at Oklahoma. His 204 receptions rank third in school history.

Now he looks forward to running route for Brees in a far more meaningful context.

``It's a prolific offense and a huge opportunity for me to go in and play with veterans, learn and be a sponge,'' Stills said.

In 2010, he set Oklahoma freshman marks for receptions with 61 and yards receiving with 786. He also returned punts periodically and ran the ball a few times.

He said he would aim to be the first player in the Saints training headquarters every day and the last one out, something that might be hard to do given the long hours Brees spends in the building.

``He better be riding with him,'' Payton said.

The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Johnson played at Division II Tarleton State in Texas. Last season, he had 50 tackles, including 17.5 tackles for losses, 10 of them sacks. He was named the Lone Star Conference defensive lineman of the year.

``One of the things we try to do in these later rounds is look at size, speed and some measurables,'' Payton said. ``He's got the physical stature that you're looking for. We feel like he's a guy that can rush the passer pretty well. ... You're looking for some traits that stand out and with him that clearly was the case.''

In recent years, the Saints have mined contributing players and even starters from the likes of the University of Regina in Canada (Akiem Hicks), Division II Bloomsburg (Jahri Evans) and Division II Tiffin (Chris Ivory), so the club is now hopefully of extending that track record with Johnson.

``Our coaching staff has shown the ability to take players with special skills and find a way to fit them in,'' general manager Mickey Loomis said. ``We are not limited to big schools. We're looking at some of the smaller schools and guys that have been productive at schools that are under the radar.''

No one was more grateful for that than Johnson, who sounded choked up as he spoke by conference call to reporters gathered at Saints headquarters.

``I can't even talk right now. My heart is beating fast. I'm sweating and stuff,'' said Johnson, who added he was sitting in a park with friends when he got the call from the Saints. ``I just broke down and started sweating, I couldn't even talk to my dad. This is a blessing to me; it really brightened my day. I just want to thank the New Orleans Saints and make sure to go out there and give it my all in everything I do.''

When he gathered himself and gave the news to his family, he said his father, a former Texas Tech player, ``just gave me the smile that he's been giving me since I was six years old, ever since I was playing Pop Warner.''

``He gave me that smile and told me `Good job,''' Johnson continued. ``He embraced me with a hug, kissed me on my forehead, and told me that now it's time to go to work.''

Stills and Johnson joined New Orleans' first-round pick, Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro and its other third-rounder, offensive tackle Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The Saints entered the draft without a pick in the seventh round, which had been traded previously.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dane FletcherMay 27 02:33a

Free-agent LB Dane Fletcher (Buccaneers) has returned to the New England Patriots on a one-year contract.

Devonta FreemanMay 26 09:53p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Tuesday, May 26.

Charles SimsMay 26 05:33p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims has a solid chance of beating out RB Doug Martin for Tampa Bay's starting running back gig, according to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com.

A.J. JenkinsMay 26 01:02p

Free-agent WR A.J. Jenkins (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, May 26, according to a source. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick by the San [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 26 08:43a

Updating an ongoing story, the Dallas Cowboys have moved on from the idea of trading for Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, despite persistent rumors, according to The Dallas Morning [ More ]

A.J. McCarronMay 25 10:37p

Cincinnati Bengals QB AJ McCarron (shoulder) is healthy and hoping to push QB Andy Dalton in 2015. 'We wanted him in our building so bad and it happened and [ More ]

Ray McDonaldMay 25 04:42p

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Adrian PetersonMay 25 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson still wants to be traded, according to a source. Peterson intends to skip all organized team activities, which would cause him to lose $250,000 in workout bonuses.

Adrian PetersonMay 24 09:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has informed head coach Mike Zimmer that he will not attend the optional practices that begin Tuesday, May 26, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Tom BradyMay 22 04:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will have the appeal of his four-game suspension heard by commissioner Roger Goodell after the NFL rejected a motion by the NFL Players [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 22 03:32p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension has not been scheduled at this time.

Ray RiceMay 22 11:42a

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) could be a consideration for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, speculates The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota. He cites Cowboys owner and general [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMay 22 09:52a

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains in pursuit of being traded or receiving a new contract and remains away from the organization during voluntary workouts. [ More ]

William BeattyMay 21 12:02p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty (chest) underwent successful surgery Thursday, May 21, to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty will need approximately five to six months of recovery time.

Derek CarrMay 20 10:23p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) will not need surgery on his injured finger and may be able to throw again before the end of offseason workouts, according to his agent.

Joseph RandleMay 20 09:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle is the most likely option to lead the team's running back by committee approach in 2015. Randle has the most experience in the system, [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:53p

Updating previous reports, New York Giants OT William Beatty's (pectoral) torn pectoral will require surgery and Beatty's recovery time is expected to be around five months. Beatty suffered the [ More ]

William BeattyMay 20 03:33p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) tore his pectoral while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source, and will undergo surgery. One [ More ]

Josh HillMay 20 03:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is slated as the starting tight end this season with TE Jimmy Graham now in Seattle. TE Benjamin Watson could give Hill a run for his money, however.

William BeattyMay 20 03:13p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (shoulder) suffered a potentially serious shoulder injury while lifting weights Wednesday, May 20, according to a source. Surgery is a possibility.

Geno SmithMay 20 03:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith is the starting quarterback and will not see competition in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.

Tom BradyMay 20 03:03p

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal will not be affected by the team's decision to accept their sanctions. Commissioner Roger Goodell said he wants to [ More ]

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group