Among the 90 players on the current New Orleans Saints roster, 19 are rookies. Nine players on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball and kicker Jose Maltos rounds out the rookie class.
Competition will be intense as the roster must be cut to 75 by Aug. 27 and 53 by Aug. 31.
With five days till the start of 2013 Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon, below is a summary of the Saints’ current rookie class (in alphabetical order):
No. 72 Terron Armstead – offensive tackle, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 304): Possessing tremendous strength and speed, Armstead used his athletic ability to compete in football and track and field at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He appeared in 37 games, while starting his final 32 contests protecting the quarterback’s blindside from the left tackle position. The Cahokia, Ill., product totaled 314 knockdowns, while also working to become an eight-time champion for the Arkansas Pine-Bluff track and field team. With solid footwork and a light first step, Armstead stood out at the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts across the NFL by running the fastest time (4.71) by an offensive lineman in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine.
No. 74 Glenn Foster – defensive end, Illinois (6-4, 285): The Chicago native was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for the Illini, posting 73 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks and an interception. As a senior in 2012, he started all 12 games at defensive tackle, totaling 31 tackles, 5.5 stops for a loss and 2.5 sacks.
No. 4 Ryan Griffin – quarterback, Tulane (6-5, 206): Griffin was a four-year starter for the Green Wave who appeared in 42 games with 39 starts, completing 836-of-1,396 passes for 9,026 yards, 79 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. The Westlake Village, Calif., native set Tulane career marks in attempts, completions, and completion percentage, and ranked second in passing yards, passing yards per game (214.9), attempts per game, completions per game, and 300-yard passing games (10). As a senior, Griffin started all nine games he played in and was named honorable-mention All-Conference USA after leading the team in total offense (2,644 yards), attempts (394), completions (245), yardage (2,771), touchdowns (20) and passing efficiency (132.43), ranking second in the conference in passing yards per game (307.9).
No. 89 Josh Hill – tight end, Idaho State (6-5, 229): Hill started all 11 games he played in as a senior and finished ranked second on the team in receptions as he hauled in 70 passes for 630 yards and five touchdowns while being named to the second team All-Big Sky and the Big Sky All-Academic team. The Blackfoot, Idaho native collected 143 receptions for 1,270 yards and nine touchdowns in his career at Idaho State.
No. 92 John Jenkins - defensive tackle, (6-3, 359): With imposing size, tremendous strength and the ability to take on multiple blockers, Jenkins manned the center of the Bulldogs’ defense from the nose guard position, where he was named the team’s Defensive Co-MVP as a senior, after spending two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
Jenkins is a threat against the pass with an explosive first step and agility while he also possesses the ability to use his strong hands, size, leverage and aggression to shut down an opponent’s interior running game.
The Connecticut native started 20 of 27 games at Georgia where he recorded 78 tackles (36 solo), four sacks for a loss of 26 yards, eight stops for losses of 32 yards and 24 quarterback pressures. He also added one interception, a pass deflection a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
No. 59 Rufus Johnson – linebacker, Tarleton State (6-5, 272): The first player ever selected by the Saints in the NFL Draft from Tarleton State, Johnson will attempt to secure a roster spot, transitioning to linebacker from his college position of defensive end and also seeking to contribute on special teams to take advantage of his combination of size and speed. Johnson finished his college career in 20 games with 19 starts posting 96 tackles (55 solo) 33 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. The Dallas native finished his senior campaign by leading the Texans with 17.5 stops for a loss and 10 takedowns, followed by an impressive performance in a college all-star game and his pro day.
No. 68 Tim Lelito – guard, Grand Valley State (6-4, 315): Lelito started 45 consecutive games for Grand Valley State and was a two-time First-Team All-GLIAC selection. The St. Clair, Mich., native helped the Laker offense rank second in total offense (474.4 yards) and scoring offense (41.9 points) last season while he was named the GLIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year.
No. 86 Brent Leonard – wide receiver, Louisiana-Monroe (6-2, 186): Leonard finished college career as the Warhawks’ career receiving leader with 209 receptions. As a senior, he set a school record with 104 receptions for 1,118 yards and 10 touchdowns, becoming the first ULM player to go over the 1,000-yard mark in 10 seasons, earning first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors.
No. 2 Jose Maltos – kicker, Nuevo Leon (5-9, 201): opened the eyes of NFL scouts following a workout at Southern Methodist University. He kicked against an all-star game of American players at the Aztec Bowl in Monterrey in December 2012.
No. 55 Eric Martin – linebacker, Nebraska (6-2, 250): Martin, who will compete at linebacker in the Saints’ 3-4 alignment, moved into the starting lineup for the Cornhuskers as a senior at defensive end in 2012 and led the team with 8.5 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors by writers and the Big Ten Network.
No. 61 Elliott Mealer – center, Michigan (6-5, 308): Mealer appeared in 50 career contests for Michigan along the offensive line and on special teams. The Wauseon, Ohio native started all 13 games at center for the Wolverines as a redshirt senior in 2012.
No. 83 Keavon Milton – tight end, Louisiana-Monroe (6-4, 293): The Canton, Texas native appeared in 45 games for the Warhawks and totaled 220 receiving yards on 25 receptions with four touchdowns. Milton appeared in all 13 games as a senior and finished with career-highs in receptions (14) and receiving yards (146) as he helped lead his team to an Advocare Independence Bowl appearance.
No. 52 Kevin Reddick – linebacker, North Carolina (6-1, 246): In four seasons with the Tar Heels, appearing in 50 games with 43 starts at middle linebacker, the New Bern, N.C., native posted career totals of 275 tackles, 36 stops for a loss, 8.5 sacks, two interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As a senior, the All-ACC selection by league coaches paced North Carolina with 85 tackles, 6.5 sacks, a league-best 18.5 stops for a loss, two forced fumbles and six passes defensed.
No. 29 Khiry Robinson – running back, West Texas A&M (6-0, 220): In two seasons at West Texas A&M after transferring from Blinn (Texas) Junior College, Robinson rushed for 2,290 yards and 26 touchdowns and caught 60 passes for 612 yards and six touchdown. In 2012, he was named to the D2Football.com All-America and first-team all-conference as he led the Buffaloes and Lone Star Conference with a school-record 1,621 yards on the ground with 15 touchdowns while also adding 38 receptions for 430 yards and four touchdowns.
No. 46 Ray Shipman – linebacker, Central Florida (6-5, 242): Shipman played in 22 games for Central Florida and recorded 126 tackles (56 solo), eight tackles for a loss of 15 yards, four passes defensed and one interception after transferring from Florida where he played guard for the Gators basketball team. The Miramar, Fla., native started 12 games as a redshirt senior and amassed 91 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss while being voted onto the Conference USA All-Academic Team.
No. 84 Kenny Stills – wide receiver, Oklahoma (6-0, 194): The 10th player in Saints history to be selected from Oklahoma, Stills comes to New Orleans following a three-year career with the Sooners where he established himself as one of the nation’s top deep threats. Using his outstanding body control, balance and quick second gear to stretch the field and get behind defenders, the California native left Norman ranked fourth in school record books in receiving with 204 receptions for 2,594 yards (12.3 average) with 24 touchdowns. His yardage total ranks third in school record books, while his touchdown grab number ranks fifth.
No. 38 Rod Sweeting – cornerback, Georgia Tech (6-0, 187): Sweeting, whose 54 games played in his career tied for first in Ramblin Wreck history, was a two-year starter at cornerback and posted career totals of 160 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 24 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. As a senior in 2012, he posted 58 tackles, six tackles for a loss, a sack, an interception, seven passes defensed and one fumble recovery, his pick coming against Florida State QB E.J. Manuel in the ACC championship game.
No. 58 Chase Thomas – linebacker, Stanford (6-3, 241): Thomas appeared in 52 games with 47 starts at both defensive end and outside linebacker at Stanford, finishing with 229 tackles, 27.5 sacks, 50.5 stops for a loss, two interceptions, nine forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. An All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice as a senior by league coaches and media, the Marietta, Ga., native finished second on the team with 71 tackles, tied for second with 14.5 stops for a loss and filled up the stat sheet with 7.5 sacks, one interception, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
No. 32 Kenny Vaccaro – safety, Texas (6-0, 214): An All-American at Texas and the top-rated defensive back in the NFL Draft, Vaccaro became the first safety to be selected by the Saints in the first round in franchise history. The versatile defender started 32 of 51 games he appeared in as a Longhorn while using his combination of athletic ability and toughness to contribute from four positions, including both safety spots. The Brownwood, Texas native registered 264 tackles (162 solo), two sacks for minus 16 yards, 16 stops for losses of 59 yards, five interceptions for 19 yards, 21 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two blocked kicks and 14 tackles (10 solo) on special teams while twice being named to the All-Big 12 Conference first-team and garnering All-American honors as a senior.