What Kind of Impact will Kenny Stills and Rufus Johnson have for the New Orleans Saints?
On the last day of the 2013 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints picked up two players that will definitely fill some of their needs. In the fifth round the Saints selected Oklahoma wide receiver Kenny Stills and in the sixth round picked up Tarleton State defensive end Rufus Johnson. With the selection of Stills the Saints’ receiving corps is extremely deep, but he could still see some playing time in his rookie season. Johnson will come in and transition to an outside linebacker in Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
Stills could see some time in his rookie season as the Saints’ number four receiver. The Saints will likely go with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Joe Morgan as their top receivers with multiple players vying for the fourth spot. Stills’ biggest competition figures to be Nick Toon, who essentially “redshirted” last season with a foot injury. Toon will come back this season looking to break into the rotation.
At 6-foot 194 pounds, Stills is very fast and can stretch the field. In his last season with the Sooners, Stills had 82 catches for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns and has obviously shown he is capable of having good production. At the combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, and coupled with Morgan, the tandem could make for some very long gains next season.
With their last pick the Saints addressed their defensive line and selected Johnson. He has nice size at 6-foot-4 255 pounds, but he might not see the playing field in his rookie season. Johnson will probably see playing time in his sophomore campaign after he has a year of learning from NFL coaches. In the long run he could turn into a great force for the Saints defensive line.
Johnson is very strong and has a knack for getting to the quarterback. In his senior season he had 17.5 tackles for a loss to go along with 10 sacks. With time Johnson will become a very good pass rusher for the Saints. Furthermore, he has shown that he can excel at stopping the run and that will be another valuable asset he will provide the Saints with.
Both players look like they will have decent careers in the NFL and will help the Saints at some point in the future. Stills could possibly contribute right away while Johnson may need a little coaching to progress, but the bottom line is the Saints made two great choices with their late-round picks while also addressing the team’s needs.
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