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Sean Payton reviews New Orleans Saints 2018 draft

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton

Post-Draft Press Conference

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Are (Natrell) Jamerson and (Kamrin) Moore similar?

“I would say here is what they have in common, they are both smart, good football players with some position flexibility. I think in Natrell’s case our vision initially is outside and he is someone that tested out very well and can run. He is very quick, quick twitch so sudden. And I think with Moore, you see him play nickel you know you can see him have the flexibility and can go back and be a safety but both are smart, savvy football players that as you get later in the draft and you're trying to project a vision with as much as our game has changed, these are guys that can come in and compete in the secondary. And the vision will be a little different for each but they have similar traits.”

Was Natrell’s ability to return kicks a consideration?

“That was part of it. We’ll have a chance to evaluate these guys in two weeks to see how they do. You know I would say the same thing took place with Boston (Scott). He's a guy that we worked out, also was a punt returner. So trying to have a role for these players and really see how their skills apply to your team and then trying to get them to the right position when they first get here will be our goal.”

Natrell played safety at Wisconsin, how do you take what he did on film and turn that into the vision?

“Well he's also a guy that has gone outside. That’s a good spot to start. He's a guy that is very athletic. We had some individual workouts with some of these players so I would say both with Natrell, Kamrin, Boston those guys, we've all worked out separate and then other than a pro day. So I think most importantly as we were discussing these guys both Natrell and Kamrin we discussed at that very same pick and fortunately you know around later we were able to select the other player but we'll see as they come in here and see where their weights are at, how they tackle. We do think they're both guys that are physical and both guys that fit our profile.

Mickey mentioned yesterday that you guys probably weren’t trading away picks on the last day, do you think that was important?

“Yeah. We made the trade in the first round. It wasn't like there weren't times today where “oh there was discussions about moving one direction or another.” But in the end we felt pretty good about where we were sitting with both sixes, the seven, the five and it kind of fell to us rather than maybe in the first round where we went and got a player that we felt good about overall how it unfolded in we'll see. We're anxious to get these guys out there and prepared and in bringing them up to speed with our system.”

What is your vision for Will Clapp?

“He has played a lot of games at a high level competition. We know he can give us center snaps. We're very familiar of course with the program. And to play as many games as he's played and SEC competition and he's been very reliable. He's got outstanding football IQ. Our vision initially would be at center.”

Anybody in the room make a joke about how you guys finally drafted an LSU guy?

“When did we take, probably I can't think of what year (Al Woods in 2010). (I) Didn't really pay attention to that. I understand it and each year it's just hard how it unfolds sometimes. So we got an LSU player and I called him and I always ask everyone where you at. And he's like I’m in Metairie. And I said all right. So he's local and he probably can save some money on rent (laughter).”

How much have you seen pretty much on every positon across the board over time the position flexibility level increase?

“I think the challenge is always different than in college as the rosters are smaller. And then the gameday roster is not 53, you have to even go down fewer than that. So when you when you bring 46 players to the game and you begin to look at the snaps that they're playing both offensively and defensively, it's hard to have a lot of backups that are just only going to play in the event of an injury, that can happen on the offensive line, it can happen (at) quarterback. And so that versatility in the kicking game, whether it's second or third down packages, jumbo packages. We try to spend a lot of time on what we think they can do and not as much time on what they can't do. Do they fit? Do we have a good vision? And then how can they help us on Sunday? And you just have to be that much more efficient when you're looking at roster sizes like that.”

How about Rick Leonard? What did you guys like about him?

“Leonard came into Florida State playing on defense, defensive end. There’s a physicalness about him. We think that there is still some growth because of his lack of experience. He’s a big body, he’s physical. Right away I can see a jumbo role. I could see him compete to be a gameday backup tackle. I thought as the season went on with his film it got better and better and you could see him becoming more and more familiar with playing on the offensive side of the ball. He is athletic. It was a number of those things.”

Was special teams versatility something you targeted with some of these picks?

“If you are looking at it I think Tre’Quan (Smith) is going to have some special teams value. I think both Jamerson and Moore clearly will have that value. I think Scott in a return phase will compete. We'll just talk about the player. Here's the vision. What do we see? Is it four corners in the special teams or is it just two-phased or one-phased. Of course, the player has to come in and earn all of that. But we do want to kind of hear it again just like we did a month ago in our readings and two months ago in our February readings.”

What’s your vision for Smith?

“He's physically is big. He's a guy that blocks. I like his size. I like his strong hands. I think he is very competitive. For us, with that selection, it was clearly a magnet with a great value pick for us. A guy that I think has that grit and toughness that will help him on the next level.

Do you feel like you guys feel like you were able to fill some needs?

“Hopefully. I think that you’re trying to find guys that can make the roster, that bring something to the table and you are trying to look at specifically. With Tre’Quan, we're looking at the group in general but there's a big physical receiver I don't know that we went into the draft saying we must draft a receiver. The two DBs, Leonard and Jamerson, we had a corner need or want and we feel like we've got some position flexibility with these guys when you get into some of your packages defensively. Scott’s someone that we're really familiar with, worked out not too long ago for us. He too was local in Baton Rouge. He is a pretty good runner as well as a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has some versatility. And then you'll have a chance to learn and see how he can come around as punt returner. Hopefully we have.”

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