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

Patrick PetersonJul 28 04:01p

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will be used strictly on defense this season and will not see time in any offensive situations. The Cardinals have excess capacity at wide [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 03:42p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) has a bone bruise, according to head coach Ron Rivera. There is swelling in the knee but nothing is structurally damaged.

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:37p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller will be used much like Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was last season. That means he should see quite a few passes headed his [ More ]

Ndamukong SuhJul 28 03:32p

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh's contract extension discussion will be put on hold until the end of the season, according to a source.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 28 03:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) missed practice Monday, July 28, to receive treatment for his injured hamstring. Head coach Tom Coughlin said Beckham probably has some tests scheduled for the hamstring.

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 03:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams looks to be a longshot for the final roster, because he is not a good special teams player and would have to help on [ More ]

M. BernadeauJul 28 02:43p

Dallas Cowboys OG Mackenzy Bernadeau has been working at left guard with the first-team offense, because OG Ronald Leary (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Bernadeau and [ More ]

Dan WilliamsJul 28 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams (knee) is not expected to participate in practice Monday, July 28, but the team does not believe his knee injury is serious.

Everette BrownJul 28 02:22p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent LB Everette Brown (Cowboys). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 28 02:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers are confident that they will be able sign QB Ben Roethlisberger before his current contract expires, according to general manager Kevin Colbert. Colbert said he expects [ More ]

Anthony GaitorJul 28 01:42p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free-agent CB Anthony Gaitor (Dolphins) and undrafted free-agent DT Jibreel Black (Michigan). Terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but all contracts signed [ More ]

Alshon JefferyJul 28 01:32p

Updating a previous report, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) left practice early Monday, July 28, because of a sore foot.

Matt CasselJul 28 01:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder have been evenly splitting reps during the early part of training camp, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 28 01:23p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's (knee) left knee injury isn't expected to be serious, and head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic that Benjamin won't miss much time. Benjamin is [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJul 28 01:12p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson does not need to play in the preseason to show something to the coaching staff, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. Zimmer said Peterson [ More ]

Golden TateJul 28 01:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate (shoulder) was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, July 28, and he is expected to take part in the team's first [ More ]

Frank GoreJul 28 12:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore is unlikely to play in the preseason this year. RBs Carlos Hyde and Jewel Hampton have both looked good so far during training [ More ]

Trent ColeJul 28 12:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and LB Trent Cole squared off in a fight during training camp Sunday, July 27. 'Next thing you know, they're on the ground scuffling,' [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJul 28 10:13a

Cleveland Browns WRs Charles X. Johnson (knee) and Travis Benjamin (knee) are riding the stationary bike and working on the side Monday, July 28.

Micah HydeJul 28 10:03a

Green Bay Packers FS Micah Hyde has the edge over S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for the starting free safety spot.

Ray RiceJul 28 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension.

Kenny StillsJul 28 09:32a

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and WR Kenny Stills (quadriceps) are out of practice Monday, July 28.

Chris RaineyJul 28 08:52a

The Indianapolis Colts released RB Chris Rainey.

Mike IupatiJul 28 04:02a

The San Francisco 49ers plan to re-sign RG Mike Iupati at some point. Originally the team thought it would not be able to keep him due to a higher [ More ]

Tim HightowerJul 28 03:22a

Former Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower, who suffered a torn ACL in 2011 and a subsequent infection, was spotted at Washington Redskins camp in the past few days. Hightower [ More ]

Alan BonnerJul 28 12:52a

The Houston Texans have waived injured WR Alan Bonner (foot). Bonner suffered a broken foot during practice Saturday, July 26.

Russell OkungJul 28 12:22a

Seattle Seahawks OT Russell Okung (foot) is about two weeks away from returning to practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Terrell McClainJul 28 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Terrell McClain (ankle), LB DeVonte Holloman (dehydration) and FS Matt Johnson (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of injuries.

Koa MisiJul 27 11:52p

Miami Dolphins LB Koa Misi (foot) left practice early Sunday, July 27, because of a foot injury. He has told people that someone stepped on his foot and that he will be fine.

Dre KirkpatrickJul 27 11:02p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, July 27, because of an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is not expected to keep him out for long.

D.J. HaydenJul 27 10:32p

Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden (foot) still has no definite timetable for his return, but the team is optimistic that he will be ready for the start of the [ More ]

Kyle RudolphJul 27 10:32p

The Minnesota Vikings have signed TE Kyle Rudolph to a five-year extension worth $36.5 million.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group