Photos from New Orleans Saints 2014 Rookie Camp. Photos by Michael C. Hebert
New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Monday that the club has signed the following free agents to contracts following their participation in the club's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis; WR Steve Hull, OLB Cheta Ozougwu, RB Derrick Strozier and OL Thomas Welch. The club has also waived/non-football illness NT Brandon McCray and waived G Micajah Reynolds.
Hull, 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, led Illinois in receiving as a senior in 2013 after moving to wide receiver from the defensive backfield where he played his first three seasons at safety. He played in all 12 games and finished with 59 receptions for 993 yards (16.8 avg.) with seven touchdowns. In his first three seasons, he posted 94 tackles, three interceptions, one sack and five passes defensed in 24 contests.
Ozougwu, 6-2, 255 pounds, is a two-year NFL veteran who was originally selected by the Houston Texans in the seventh round (254th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Rice. Ozougwu appeared in nine games in the last two seasons for the Chicago Bears and posted four tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. In 2013, after spending the start of the season on the Chicago practice squad, he appeared in seven games at defensive end for the Bears and posted one solo tackle, one sack, one forced fumble and five special teams stops.
Strozier is a 5-8, 181-pound native of Edgewater, Fla., who played both running back and cornerback at Tulane from 2009-13. As a junior in 2012, he carried four times for 12 yards and hauled in 11 passes for 60 yards. In returns for the Green Wave, he brought back 28 punts for 268 yards (9.6 avg.) during his career and returned 13 kickoffs for 258 yards (19.8 avg.). As a defensive back, he posted 101 tackles (66 solo), five interceptions, 19 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. As a senior in 2013, he played in all 13 games with 11 starts at nickelback and posted 54 tackles and three interceptions while leading the Green Wave with 14 passes defensed, also blocking a kick on special teams.
Welch is a 6-7, 310-pound offensive lineman who was originally a seventh-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt. The Brentwood, Tenn., native has spent parts of the last three seasons on the active rosters of the Patriots, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills, playing in 27 career games with one start. In 2013, he appeared in all 16 contests for the Bills. Welch opened 24 contests on the Vanderbilt offensive line his final two seasons with the Commodores.