Today I want to look at five players that I think should be available for the Saints in later rounds. When a guy falls past the 3rd round it usually means there is a flaw of some kind. Physical limitations, an injury history, and raw/underdeveloped skills are just a few examples. But that doesn't mean they can't become great players, the odds are just lower. Here are guys I'd love to see in black and gold that I think would be worth the investment. These players are not necessarily starters in year one, but have promise and could develop into good pros.
1. Kwame Geathers, NT, Georgia: This guy is a bit of an unknown because he played behind John Jenkins at Georgia and never had a chance to start before declaring for the draft. Still, his frame is monstrous and impressive at 6'5" and over 340 pounds, and he's a solid body that carries his weight pretty well. With some technique development and seasoning he could be a dominant 3-4 nose tackle plug. He's already got NFL pedigree as his brother plays in the NFL. He would also fill a huge need with this schematic switch. I've always said if you're going to do a 3-4 right it has to included a dominant nose.
2. Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa: Hyde is a tweener that may be a better fit at free safety. He's got exceptional ball skills and he's a very good physical run defender with good size. He's more fit as a zone guy than a man guy, and the 3-4 will likely implement more zone coverage. He doesn't have the elite speed to run with receivers downfield, which is why he may be a better fit at free safety. I think he has better ball skills than Jenkins and he's equally physical. I think this is a good free safety prospect.
3. Luke Marquardt, T, Azusa Pacific: Where is Azusa Pacific, you ask? I have no idea. No one has been drafted there since Christian Okoye, the Nigerian nightmare, in 1987. The Saints are never shy to draft prospects from unknown schools, though. Marquardt is almost 6'9" and very athletic for his size. He's got the potential to become a left tackle and quick enough feet to move well laterally. The Saints need a tackle and I wouldn't be shocked if this guy came out of nowhere to start in year one. The only concern is if he's too tall for Drew Brees to see over him.
4. Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech: He's a raw athlete that maybe starts year one on the practice squad… but it's undeniable he'd be by far one of the fastest players on the team. The Saints need two elite speed receivers for their offense to work at it's best and Joe Morgan is currently the only one. The Saints missed Robert Meachem last year and they need another field stretcher. Fuller also has nice size at 6'2", 204lbs and could develop with technique and strength improvement into a decent blocker. Like Devery Henderson he probably won't be good in year 1 but as he develops could be very valuable to this offense and could be drafted in the 6th round most likely, so the investment would be low.
5. Etienne Sabino, LB, Ohio State: I love this guy and think he'd be a great pickup later in the draft as a backup inside linebacker. He's a bit of a thumper a-la Jo-Lonn Dunbar or Jonathan Casillas but I sense he has better game awareness. He's a guy that could start as an interior backup in a 3-4 and develop into a starter.