Tracking New Orleans Saints' 2012 NFL Undrafted Free Agent Signings

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterMay 1, 2012

Tracking New Orleans Saints' 2012 NFL Undrafted Free Agent Signings

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    The New Orleans Saints added to their post-draft roster on Monday, adding 18 rookie undrafted free agents.

    The 18 signees, according to the team, are:

    LB Kadarron Anderson, Furman

    LB Stephen Johnson, Temple

    LB Aaron Tevis, Boise State

    WR Malcolm Beyah, Middle Tennessee State

    WR Chris Givens, Miami (Ohio)

    WR Kevin Hardy, Citadel

    DE Braylon Broughton,Texas Christian

    DL Tyrunn Walker, Tulsa

    TE Jake Byrne, Wisconsin

    RB Travaris Cadet, Appalachian State

    DB A.J. Davis, Jacksonville State

    C Brian Folkerts, Washburn

    S Jose Gumbs, Monmouth

    S Jerico Nelson, Arkansas

    S Johnny Thomas, Oklahoma State

    OT Dan Hoch, Missouri

    OT Aderious Simmons, Arizona State

    RET Laron Scott, Georgia Southern

Stephen Johnson: Linebacker, Temple

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    Stephen Johnson led the Temple Owls in tackles with 123 last season and added two sacks and three forced fumbles.


    Scouting Report

    Johnson barely cracked the five second mark in his 40-yard dash and saw limited time on the field at Temple until his senior season.


    Chances of making final roster: Low

    The Saints have been stockpiling linebackers this offseason, meaning Johnson's best opportunity to make the team is on special teams. And that's a long shot at best.

Kadarron Anderson: Linebacker, Furman

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 235

    Kadarron Anderson was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Paladins, leading the team in tackles each of these seasons, recording 372 tackles, with 21 for a loss in his 44-game career.


    Scouting Report

    Anderson is a big hitter who is also comfortable in coverage.

    From Sports Illustrated:

    Not the fastest linebacker, Anderson continually produces on the football field. He totaled at least 110 tackles each of the past three seasons and has been a relentless run defender for Furman. Anderson possesses terrific instincts and a great head for the ball. He looks like a solid fit as a backup linebacker/special teams player for the Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints.


    Chances of making final roster: Less than 50 percent

    The Saints linebacker corps is stocked, but Anderson has a highly-sought after skill set that could land him on special teams to get his foot in the door.

Malcolm Beyah: Wide Receiver, Middle Tennessee State

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 192

    As a senior in 2011, Beyah appeared in 11 games and grabbed 45 receptions for a team-best 497 yards with six touchdowns.


    Scouting Report

    From Draft Insider:

    "Nice sized receiver that catches the ball well. Lacks great physical skills yet could make it as a fifth wide out in the NFL."


    Chances of making final roster: 15 percent

    The Saints need to find a receiver to replace Robert Meachem, but Beyah doesn't have that skill-set yet. If he makes the team, it'll be as a special teamer.

Aaron Tevis: Linebacker, Boise State

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 234

    Aaron Tevis started all 13 games as a senior in 2011 and registered 46 tackles (20 solo), including two-and-a-half for a loss with one interception.


    Chances of making final roster: 15 percent

    Even though the Saints loaded up on free-agent talent prior to the draft, the team is still signing more from the rookie ranks. This could be for depth reasons for impending suspensions. If—more like when—Saints defensive players get suspended, the team will need to pull from a pool of non-roster linebackers. The more that already know the system, the better.

Chris Givens: Wide Receiver, Miami (Ohio)

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 203


    Scouting Report

    From National Football Post:

    A big well put together receiver with a muscular build. Doesn't have a great first step off the line and lacks an initial burst to his game. However, builds up speed as he goes and can be a deep threat because of his body control and strength when asked to go get the football. Highpoints well and does a nice job fighting through contact in order to highpoint the play. However, is a linear athlete and has a tough time getting in and out of his breaks at top end speed. Routinely is forced to gear down and doesn't exhibit much of an explosive element to his game when trying to separate on sharply breaking routes. Is easy to cover up and routinely is forced to make plays on the football with corners draped all over him.

    Impression: A nice sized kid who can go get the football, but not dynamic enough to routinely separate in the NFL, even as a vertical route runner.


    Chances of making final roster: Low

    Without the ability to separate, Givens likely won't make the Saints roster.

Kevin Hardy: Wide Receiver, Citadel

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    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 186


    Scouting Report

    From National Football Post:

    Possesses a lean frame and solid first step off the line. Possesses good straight-line speed and can track the football. However, isn't real quick/balance in and out of his breaks. Has a tough time fighting through contact vs. press coverage and is really raw as a route runner. Not a real natural plucker of the football either. Showcases inconsistent hands both in the short/intermediate pass game and when asked to track the football vertically.

    Impression: Had a tough time holding his own with the jump in competition at the East-West Shrine game and is going to have a tough time making an NFL roster.


    Chances of making final roster: Low

    If a receiver can't impress Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the veteran passer will never toss the ball his way. If Hardy's hands are inconsistent, he won't be shown any love from Brees, or the Saints with a roster spot.

Braylon Broughton: Defensive End, TCU

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 272

    As a senior in 2011, Braylon Broughton appeared in 13 games and started five games for TCU with six tackles for a loss as he recorded 25 stops overall and two sacks.


    Scouting Report

    From National Football Post:

    A long, athletic looking lineman who doesn't bend real well and lacks a great first step off the snap. Will extend his long arms into contact in order to disengage, but allows his pad level to get upright and isn't real physical through contact. Works hard and eventually does fend off blocks. However he doesn't have a real explosive element to his game, doesn't change directions well and plays too high.


    Chances of making final roster: 15 percent

    The Saints are in need of pass-rush help, but Broughton might not bring enough to the team to warrant a roster spot.

Tyrunn Walker: DL, Tulsa

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 294

    At the Tulsa Pro Day, Walker posted a 4.88 40-yard dash, a 4.81 in 20-yard shuttle, a 7.37 in the three-cone drill, a 9-foot-4-inch broad jump, a 28-inch vertical leap and bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times.


    Chances of making final roster: 25 percent

    Walker posted eight sacks during his senior season. If he can find a way to make those Conference-USA sacks translate to rookie minicamp and training camp, he could work his way onto this roster.

    Cedric Ellis and Broderick Bunkley are the starters inside, with newly-drafted Akiem Hicks a backup, along with Mitch King. There is room for a UDFA to come in and steal a spot.

Jake Byrne: Tight End, Wisconsin

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 260

    Jake Byrne caught just one pass in 2011 while playing in all 13 games. Byrne is mainly a blocking tight end.


    Chances of making final roster: 30 percent

    The Saints have an all-world pass-catching tight end in Jimmy Graham. What the team can't get enough of is all-world blocking tight ends like Byrne, especially since it relies on a tackle as an extra tight end in short-yardage plays. If the Saints could use an actual tight end, it would offer flexibility. He'll have to beat out David Thomas or Mike Higgins.

Travaris Cadet: Running Back, Appalachian State

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 210

    As a senior, Travaris Cadet got 151 carries for 651 yards and scored six touchdowns and a career-high 34 receptions for 333 yards with one touchdown. He posted 1,603 all-purpose yards.


    Scouting Report

    From Pro Football Weekly:


    Has a big frame and lean definition. Nice peripheral vision to sidestep tacklers. Keeps his legs pumping through contact and fights for yards. Also was used as a receiver and return man. Mature and mentally tough. Outstanding football character — motivated, hardworking and dedicated.


    Is high-cut with a thin lower body. Runs tall and gets tripped up by ankle tackles. Lacks speed to break away. Average foot quickness and burst. Heel striker. Gathers to cut. Played in a spread system with big splits and holes to run through. Limited run strength. Carries the ball loosely. Durability could be an issue. 


    A good-sized, athletic, competitive, FCS standout who has overcome tall odds, Cadet is a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none lacking standout physical traits for the pro game. Versatility and intangibles will have to carry him.


    Chances of making final roster: Low

    The running back corps is already four strong in New Orleans. Cadet had better shine on special teams.

A.J. Davis: Defensive Back, Jacksonville State

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    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 183

    A.J. Davis earned All-OVC honors in 2011 as a senior, when he finished with 28 solo tackles, two interceptions, five pass defenses and one fumble recovery.


    Scouting Report

    From Pro Football Weekly:

    Experienced, athletic, competitive, balanced cornerback who shows nice bend and balance along with zone awareness, short-area quickness and a willingness to tackle. Average playmaking ability and inconsistent downfield ball reactions — recorded just 17 pass breakups and six interceptions as a four-year starter. Adequate sized with a lean, underdeveloped frame — needs to bulk up and get stronger (bench-pressed 225 pounds only eight times).


    Chances of making final roster: 25 percent

    There's always a shortage of cover corners in the NFC South. If Davis can bulk up and work on his coverage skills, he could find a spot. Especially with the depth issues at corner now in New Orleans with Tracy Porter gone.

Brian Folkerts: C, Washburn

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 310

    Brian Folkerts was a four-year letter winner at Washburn University. He played in 44 games, making 39 starts at both right and left tackle. Folkerts earned several D-II All-American honors as a senior.


    Chances of making final roster: 30 percent

    The Saints don't have a lot of depth at tackle, and the right tackle job is still up in the air. A lack of depth and a position battle in front of him is a good situation for a UDFA like Folkerts to be in .

Jose Gumbs: Safety, Monmouth

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 210

    Jose Gumbs was a four-year starter for Monmouth, leading the team in tackles all four seasons, finishing third in school history with 306 stops (188 solo). In 2011, Gumbs was a third team All-American as he led the NEC in forced fumbles with four, had nine passes defensed, two interceptions and blocked three kicks while finishing with 75 total tackles.


    Chances of making final roster: Low

    The Saints are set at safety, especially when it comes to hitters. For Gumbs to supplant Jonathan Amaya or Isa Abdul-Quddus, he's going to have to make sure those nine pass breakups and two picks translate from Monmouth to New Orleans.

Jerico Nelson: Safety, Arkansas

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 216

    Jerico Nelson played in 49 games over four seasons for the Razorbacks, making 169 tackles, 27 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, four interceptions, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. As a senior, Nelson recorded 70 stops (33 solo), 5.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two interceptions, two pass defenses and one fumble recovery.


    Scouting Report

    From National Football Post:

    A tough, rangy kid who holds up well in coverage and I love him as a football player. But where do you play him in the NFL? Body type says strong safety. Looks like a nickel backer to me who can play special teams from day one.


    Chances of making final roster: 50 percent

    The Saints obviously need some depth at safety since the team brought in three undrafted free agents for a look. Nelson has Southeastern Conference experience and can produce immediately on special teams if he impresses during camp.

Johnny Thomas: Safety, Oklahoma State

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 205

    Johnny Thomas lettered three years for the Cowboys, appearing in 35 games, making 100 tackles (79 solo), three interceptions, six pass defenses, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As a junior, Thomas started 11 games at free safety and recorded 63 stops (51 solo), three interceptions, five pass defenses, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

    He did not play during his senior season because he was academically ineligible.


    Chances of making final roster: 10 percent

    While the Saints will give a number of free-agent safeties a look, the fact that Thomas has tackling issues, along with questions about his coachability, lead me to believe he'll have a tough time making the roster.

Dan Hoch: Tackle, Missouri

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 320

    Dan Hoch was a three-year starter at right tackle for the University of Missouri. He handled starting right tackles duties and was a 2011 All-Big 12 honorable mention selection.


    Scouting Report

    Hoch is characterized as intelligent and a bit crazy, the stereotypical offensive lineman. He rarely loses a battle on the line and adjusts to defensive schemes well.


    Chances of making final roster: 50 percent

    New Orleans not only has question marks at tackle, but the team needs depth.

Aderious Simmons: Tackle, Arizona State

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 308

    Aderious Simmons transferred to Arizona State in 2010 and appeared in 13 games with nine starts in two seasons for the Sun Devils.


    Scouting Report

    From Sports Illustrated:

    Simmons showed a lot of skill in 2010 but was unable to develop his game last year due to his ankle injury. He's a sleeper offensive line prospect who can be used at guard or potentially grow into a right tackle if given the opportunity to improve his game.

    Chances of making final roster: 10 percent

Laron Scott: Return Specialist, Georgia Southern

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    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 179

    Laron Scott set a school record as a senior with 2,257 kickoff return yards with three touchdowns. His 30.6 return average ranked third in the FCS. Scott also started all 40 games of his college career at cornerback and finished with 12 interceptions.


    Scouting Report

    From Sports Illustrated:

    "Scott does not have great defensive back skills for the next level yet will be kept on a roster if he replicates his special teams ability in camp this summer."

    Chances of making final roster: 40 percent

    If Scott can replace Darren Sproles as the team's return specialist, it would free up Sproles for more carries in the offense. That's a good thing for New Orleans.