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New Orleans Saints notes from Day 2 of NFL draft

Saints picked up three players

New Orleans made three picks on Friday, May 1; with the 44th overall pick in the second round, the Saints chose linebacker Kau'oli Kikaha out of Washington, with the 75th overall choice in the third round, they picked Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson and with the 78th choice they picked Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams.

·         Kikaha (pronounced ha-OH-lee key-KAH-hah) is the sixth player picked by the Saints out of the University of Washington all-time and the first Husky picked since tight end Cameron Cleeland with the 40th overall pick in 1998.

·         The native of Hau'ula Hawai'i was the nation's leader with a school-record 19 sacks for the Huskies in 2014, as he was the finalist for five national postseason awards and just the fifth unanimous All-American in UW annals. Kikaha joins center Max Unger as the second Hawai'i native on the Saints roster.

·         Kikaha and first round draft pick Stephone Anthony are the first linebackers chosen in the first or second round by New Orleans since Courtney Watson in 2004.

·         Kikaha, who hails from Polynesian heritage played, in 44 career games and is the Huskies' all-time leader with 36 career takedowns, adding 206 tackles, 51.5 tackles for loss, six passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

·         The choice of Grayson with the 75ht pick is the earliest New Orleans has chosen a quarterback since Archie Manning was picked with the second overall choice in 1971 (note-Dave Wilson was taken with a first round supplemental pick in 1981). Overall, Grayson is the 19th quarterback drafted by the Saints all-time.

·         Grayson is only the second player taken by Colorado State in Saints history, joining defensive end Brady Smith, who was also a third round draft pick in 1996.

·         Grayson is the first quarterback picked by New Orleans since former Oregon State signal-caller Sean Canfield was picked in the seventh round in 2010.

·         In 2014, Grayson was named the Mountain West offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Conference, as he started all 13 games, completing 64.3 percent of his passes (270 of 420) for 4,006 yards and 32 touchdowns, with seven interceptions. His passing yardage total set a Colorado State single-season record and ranked fourth among NCAA FBS leaders.

·         As a junior in 2013, Grayson started all 14 games and completed 62.1 percent of his passes (297 of 478) for 3,696 yards and 23 touchdowns, with 11 interceptions.

·         Williams is the 10th player selected by New Orleans from Florida State.

·         The two-time All-ACC selection compiled 123 tackles along with 18 passes defensed and four interceptions over 40 career games with 24 starts.

·         In the 2013 BCS Championship Game versus Auburn, the Ocala, Fla. native captured Defensive MVP honors after making seven tackles, including a half-tackle for a loss and interception at the start of the fourth quarter when the Seminoles trailed 21-13, as his pick of Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall provided a spark and led to an FSU touchdown. During his sophomore season, he posted 35 stops, three picks and seven passes defensed.

·         As a junior in 2014, Williams was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award and a first-team All-ACC selection when he started all 13 games he played in and posted 74 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one interception and 10 passes defensed.

Associated Press photos of new Saints OLB Hau'oli Kikaha.

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