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

Travis KelceNov 27 07:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) tweaked his ankle in practice Friday, Nov. 27, but head coach Andy Reid thinks Kelce will be fine for Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

Danny AmendolaNov 27 07:33p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Nov. 27, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.

Emmanuel SandersNov 27 07:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) and TE Owen Daniels (knee) both practiced in full Friday, Nov. 27, and are probable against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Michael FloydNov 27 06:23p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is questionable to play in Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Nick FolesNov 27 06:23p

St. Louis Rams QB Nick Foles is prepared to start in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals with QB Case Keenum (concussion) still in the concussion protocol, according to [ More ]

Travis KelceNov 27 06:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (groin) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Malcom FloydNov 27 06:03p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) said he felt good the last few days in practice and has full range of motion in his injured left shoulder. Floyd [ More ]

Charcandrick WestNov 27 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Kellen MooreNov 27 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback again with QB Tony Romo (clavicle) out for the rest of the year. The Cowboys expect Romo to be 100% [ More ]

Tevin ColemanNov 27 05:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman will start in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings with RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) injured. Coleman has 59 carries for 231 yards and a [ More ]

Isaiah PeadNov 27 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Fitzgerald Toussaint was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Friday, Nov. 27, and RB Isaiah Pead was released in a corresponding move.

Malcom FloydNov 27 05:03p

San Diego Chargers TEs Antonio Gates (hip) and Ladarius Green (ankle) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) are listed as probable for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Greg ZuerleinNov 27 04:53p

St. Louis Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) was added to the injury report Friday, Nov. 27, as a limited participant. He is questionable for Week 12.

Case KeenumNov 27 04:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the New York Jets.

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 27 03:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) is listed as doubtful for Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Larry DonnellNov 27 02:43p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell (neck) is out for Week 12.

Nolan CarrollNov 27 02:33p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nolan Carroll (ankle) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Darrelle RevisNov 27 02:23p

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Darqueze DennardNov 27 02:23p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) was placed on the season-ending Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 27. Dennard will undergo surgery on damaged ligaments in his injured shoulder, according to a source.

Dexter McClusterNov 27 02:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) didn't practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 12.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 01:53p

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) sat out of practice Friday, Nov. 27, to be ready for Week 12 Sunday, Nov. 29, according to head coach Dan Campbell.

Charcandrick WestNov 27 01:43p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is out of practice Friday, Nov. 27.

Matt BryantNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Devonta FreemanNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Leonard HankersonNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 27 11:43a

Updating earlier reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) had a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27, that confirmed a hairline fracture in his left collarbone, and his season is [ More ]

Brent UrbanNov 27 11:03a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27. DE Brent Urban (biceps) was activated from short-term Injured Reserve.

Justin ForsettNov 27 10:23a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 27 08:53a

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (clavicle) tests were inconclusive, which the team was adamant about. He'll have a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 26 09:43p

Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) will have more tests on his injured left collarbone Friday, Nov. 27, but a source close to the situation [ More ]

Ameer AbdullahNov 26 09:43p

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah had 16 carries for a team-high 63 yards and one catch for 12 yards in a 45-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12.

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