The Saints filled out their 90-man roster this weekend, signing 18 undrafted rookie free agents, including a former state champion at Destrehan.
Arkansas safety Jerico Nelson, who won a Class 5A state title while at Destrehan, will go through the offseason with the Saints.
Nelson finished his final year at Arkansas with the fifth-most tackles (70) and had 5 ½ tackles-for-loss to go with two sacks. He had two interceptions, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
Here are the others:
- Kadarron Anderson LB Furman
- Malcolm Beyah WR Middle Tennessee State
- Braylon Broughton DE TCU
- Jake Byrne TE Wisconsin
- Travaris Cadet RB Appalachian State
- Adrian Davis DB Jacksonville State
- Brian Folkerts C Washburn
- Chris Givens WR Miami (OH)
- Jose Gumbs S Monmouth
- Kevin Hardy WR Citadel
- Dan Hoch OT Missouri
- Stephen Johnson LB Temple
- Laron Scott RS Georgia Southern
- Aderious Simmons OT Arizona State
- Aaron Tevis LB Boise State
- Johnny Thomas S Oklahoma State
- Tyrunn Walker DE/DT Tulsa
In the past, the Saints have done well in spotting potential stars in the undrafted rookie free agent class.
Running backs Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory both made the team after not getting drafted.
Thomas has proven to be a key cog in the Saints’ offensive mastery since coming to the team in 2007. He has 2,501 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 1,846 yards receiving. He’s one of the toughest players to bring down in the screen game and constantly gets yards after the catch.
Ivory, meanwhile, is the Saints’ best pure running back. But injuries have forced him to miss large chunks of the past two seasons. Still, when he’s on the field, he’s shown his value, gaining tough yards. He has 1,090 rushing yards on 216 carries – a 5.0 yard-per-carry average – in just 18 games.
Former linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who signed a free agent contract with Rams this offseason, played his way onto the team after making the practice squad in 2008. Dunbar finished his Saints career with 163 total tackles, two sacks and 12 passes defensed. He took over to Jonathan Vilma this past season when the middle linebacker was out with a knee injury.
The Saints will have a rookie minicamp from May 11-13 before OTAs begin.