Safety was not a major concern for the New Orleans Saints after stunning the sports world with the addition of three-time Pro Bowl FS Jairus Bryd. However, the team decided to bring in a little competition at the position by acquiring Pierre Warren via the undrafted free agent market.
A product of Jacksonville State University in Alabama, Warren was born and raised in the Heart of Dixie. He played three years with the Gamecocks, starting at safety his final two years as a sophomore and junior. During his time in college, he accumulated 166 tackles, eight interceptions, 29 passes defended, a forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns.
At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Warren brings good size and arm length to the Big Easy. His strength is a bit below average, but a little extra work in the weight room may fix that. He plays with admirable athletic ability and aggressiveness, which helps break up throws and even come away with the big play (five interceptions his junior year). Despite his talents, Warren’s average speed, inability to perform a proper tackle and poor play recognition may and probably will restrict his transition into the NFL as a true defensive back
Byrd and Rafael Bush have the top two spots locked up on the depth chart at free safety. Ty Zimmerman, another rookie UDFA, will be Warren’s main competition. The fact that the Saints plan to run more three-safety sets in 2014 may better their chances of making the roster for insurance purposes, but they’re still slim. The Black and Gold’s first day of training camp kicks off on July 25. Warren will need a miracle performance to keep Sean Payton and the rest of the coaching staff interested.