Oregon St. WR
Impressing the New Orleans brass with his athleticism, worth ethic and character, the Saints traded up in the 2014 NFL Draft to the 20th slot to have the opportunity to pick the 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner. Taking advantage of blazing speed, clocking in with a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, Cooks established himself as one of college football’s elite offensive weapons in three seasons at Oregon State, where he started 29-of-38 games and posted 226 receptions for 3,272 yards (14.5 avg.) with 24 touchdowns, also adding 61 carries for 340 yards (5.6 avg.). Expected to also compete for snaps in the return game for the Saints, Cooks also returned 12 punts for 72 yards and brought back eight kickoffs for 179 yards for a career total of 3,863 all-purpose yards.
Round 2, Pick 26 (58 overall)
Nebraska DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6'3",218)
A physical cornerback, who aggressively battles receivers and tight ends, excels in run support and possesses solid ball skills, Jean-Baptiste will compete with several players in the New Orleans secondary. As a senior, he was a second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection after recording 41 tackles, one sack, four stops for a loss, four interceptions and 12 passes defensed. For his career, the converted wide receiver appeared in 36 games with 19 starts and recorded 74 tackles with seven interceptions, 22 passes defensed, one sack, four tackles for a loss and a seven-yard reception.
Round 4, Pick 26 (126 overall)
California ILB Khairi Fortt (6'2".248)
A rugged, powerful linebacker with size to fill holes and speed to chase ball-carriers, who was one of 12 national semifinalists for the 2013 Butkus Award, Fortt enjoyed a productive season at California in 2013 after starting his career at Penn State. As a fourth-year junior, he started all nine games he played in and tied for third on the team with 64 tackles, 0.5 sack and 3.5 stops for a loss. In 31 contests with 10 starts for both the Golden Bears and Nittany Lions, he recorded 114 tackles, three sacks and 10 stops for a loss.
Round 5, Pick 27 (167 overall)
Alabama SS Vinnie Sunseri (5'11", 210)
A hard-hitter who was a significant contributor on both defense and special teams at the University of Alabama. Sunseri departed having appeared in 34 games with 15 starts, posting 105 tackles (67 solo), seven tackles for a loss, 1.4 sacks, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Round 5, Pick 29 (169 overall) (From Patriots through Eagles)
Florida OLB Ronald Powell (6'3”, 237)
A tall, lean, muscular athlete, Powell returned to the lineup for the Gators in 2013 after missing the 2012 season with a knee injury and finished with 26 tackles (19 solo), leading the team with four sacks. Overall at Florida, he appeared in 37 career games with 21 starts and finished with 83 tackles (55 solo), 11 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and two passes defensed, leading his team in takedowns in two of his three campaigns in Gainesville. Powell will seek a spot in the club’s outside linebacker corps, while immediately competing and contributing on special teams.
Round 6, Pick 26 (202 overall)
Kansas OT Tavon Rooks (6'5", 280)
A two-year starter at Kansas State after transferring from Navarro Junior College, Rooks excelled in both pass protection and run-blocking as he opened 23 of the 26 games he played in. Rooks will work into the right tackle position initially in New Orleans, where he will compete for a roster spot in training camp.