<span> </span> <span class="Normal"> <span>New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton discussed the pending 2009 NFL Draft and discussed its importance in the entire offseason process of player acquisition. Following eight months of preparation by the Saints scouting staff, along with the integration of the coaching staff into the process following the end of the season, Payton and Executive Vice-President/General Manager Loomis capped up their pre-draft preparations with their annual dinner at Emeril's Restaurant yesterday evening as they are now ready to encounter any scenario possible and make their selections.
"We made a bunch of strides in this offseason with our free agent acquisitions, targeting a few guys who had the right fit for us in the locker room and on the field," said Payton. "Today is the second and most important step in the player acquisition process."
Presently the Saints possess four picks, starting with the 14th overall choice in the first round, following the acquisitions last offseason of the right to choose 2009 seventh round selection WR Adrian Arrington, TE Jeremy Shockey and LB Jonathan Vilma. The head coach emphasized the importance of making the most of those selections, while also mentioning the attractive pool of talent of talent available at the 14th slot.
"With four picks, it makes this draft even more important for us," said Payton. "The picks between 10-20 have a lot of attractive talent every year. After going through all of the scenarios, we live our position and think we're going to have the opportunity to add a good player to our team."
He also mentioned that he is impressed with the offseason development of both Arrington and DT DeMario Pressley, a fifth round selection in 2008, both players that missed last season with injuries, counting them among this season's rookie class.
"Both of these guys are 100 percent healthy and we are looking forward to them being part of this year's team. DeMario changed his body around and Adrian was impressive in training camp before getting hurt (turf toe)."
Before returning to the draft room for the review of last minute scenarios and the start of the process, the head coach entering his fourth season felt comfortable in the preparations and evaluations of Loomis, Director of College Scouting Rick Reiprish and their personnel staff, as they are fully prepared for any scenarios, also leaving the door open to any trade possibilities.
"I think Mickey and his staff do a great job with this process, starting with the beginning and going through the final steps," said Payton. "They will be ready for anything that happens today."