#1 Brian Maho von huangjian123 30.08.2018 04:04

The New Orleans Saints went all in to try to snag a potential difference maker near the top of the draft.

As for their other six picks Jim Thome Jersey , time will tell.

In the days leading up to the draft, Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis were convinced the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Davenport was worth trading up to take in the middle of the first round. So they did that and had to give up next year’s first-rounder as part of the deal.

”This is the philosophy regardless of position: If there’s somebody we really covet and we have an opportunity to move up, then we’re just going to analyze the cost and the risk. And if we like it, we’re going to make a move,” Loomis said.

With their other picks on Friday night and Saturday, the Saints selected Central Florida receiver Tre’Quan Smith in the third round; Florida State offensive tackle Rick Leonard in the fourth round; Wisconsin safety Natrell Jamerson in the fifth; Boston College cornerback Kamrin Moore and Louisiana Tech running back Boston Scott in the sixth; and LSU interior offensive lineman Will Clapp in the seventh round.

The cost of drafting Davenport 14th overall arguably was a little high. In addition to next year’s first-round pick, the Saints gave Green Bay the 27th and 147th overall picks this year.

Payton and Loomis saw that as fair. After all, the Saints enter 2018 looking like a contender. They hope playing Davenport opposite All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan increases chances of winning enough to push their traded-away 2019 top pick toward the end of the first round.

”He clearly, for us, was a guy that we felt strongly enough about,” Payton said.

The Saints ranked 17th defensively last season – considerably better than the previous three seasons, but with room to improve. New Orleans’ offense, by comparison, ranked second in 2017.

Payton and Loomis say elite pass rushers can be tough to find in free agency and often have to be obtained in the draft.

”Pressure traits are hard to come by,” Loomis said. ”When you have them Jarvis Landry Jersey Elite , you protect them and you generally don’t let them out of the building.”

That’s what the Saints have done with Jordan. They’re hoping Davenport becomes a similar type of player.

CONFERENCE QUESTIONS

Davenport was the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year for UTSA last season after making 8 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He also had eight quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and four batted passes. While Davenport’s level of competition in college was not as strong as prospects coming out of the Southeastern Conference, UTSA coach Frank Wilson, a former lead recruiter at LSU, said Davenport ”is as talented as any of those guys. His work ethic is as good as any of those guys.”

DEPTH PERCEPTION

Last season, the Saints drafted five players who filled starting roles, and two – Marshon Lattimore and Alvin Kamara – who were voted rookies of the year. This season, Davenport might be the only prospective starter. Smith could play regularly on offense, but will have to compete for snaps with several accomplished veterans. Jamerson and Moore join a defensive backfield full of returning regulars. Leonard and Clapp likely will back up incumbent starters, as will Scott.

SWITCHING SIDES

Two of the Saints’ third-day draft choices switched sides of the ball during their college careers. The 5-11, 198-pound Jamerson switched from receiver to defensive back as a sophomore. The 6-7, 305-pound Leonard played defensive end two seasons before beating out an incumbent starter at offensive tackle as a junior.

”I’m comfortable with where they’re at from an experience standpoint,” Payton said. ”You see that a lot in college.”

HOME COOKING

Not only was Clapp the first LSU player selected by the Saints since linebacker Al Woods in 2010, he grew up in the New Orleans area and routinely attended Saints games with his family.

Meanwhile, Scott is from Zachary Cheap Malik Jefferson Jersey , just north of Baton Rouge, and described his mother as an avid Saints fan.

MUSICAL SAINTS

At least two of the Saints’ third-day draftees should fit in nicely in a music city like New Orleans. Leonard is an avid guitar player. Scott grew up playing trombone and has been in a band.

STILL NEED

Entering the draft, Payton cited linebacker and tight end as positions of need. But no players at either position were drafted by New Orleans.



Stephen Curry and Draymond Green admire Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni from afar for how he empowers all his players to be scorers.

No matter who you are, just let it fly – and for the Rockets that means regularly from 3-point range. And in transition whenever possible.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr praises D’Antoni for influencing the way NBA teams now play offense: the pace and the space; precise ball movement and playing small without a traditional center; shooting at will and shooting from way back.

Still, for all his success in leading the West’s top team this season, D’Antoni might need a championship to validate his style.

Standing in the way are the defending champion Warriors, who open the best-of-seven Western Conference finals at Houston on Monday night.

”He empowers everyone to shoot the basketball, and that’s dangerous,” said Green, Golden State’s bruising forward. ”That’s why he’s been so successful, especially on that side of the ball with any team he’s ever coached because that’s definitely an area where he’s a mastermind. ”

D’Antoni downplays his significance in developing today’s game.

”I think a lot of things combined to change it,” he said. ”One, they changed the rules and, two, the analytic people came in and put validation over 3s and stuff we were doing in Phoenix. Yeah, we kind of jumped out there because of the team we had and Steve Nash before anybody really caught on. And it worked. So in a little sense part of it Titans Authentic Jerseys , but there was a lot of factors.”

D’Antoni’s teams recall those running, high-flying Denver Nuggets of the `80s, led by Alex English, Dan Issel and Kiki VanDeWeghe.

While Kerr has long expressed how much he learned from mentor Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, he notes, ”I was inspired by Mike.”

”The guy who deserves the most credit for changing the way the league is played is Mike D’Antoni,” Kerr said. ”He’s the guy who just eliminated the center position and said, `Let’s go small and fast and shoot more 3s.”’

Not that Kerr was immediately convinced such a style would work. After all, while Suns general manager in 2008, he traded All-Star Shawn Marion to Miami for Shaquille O’Neal, who hardly fit that focus of play. Kerr has called it a ”bad move” all these years later.

D’Antoni left for New York at the end of that season and went 121-167 before resigning from the Knicks in March 2012. But Carmelo Anthony was never comfortable with or committed to D’Antoni’s way.

The Houston coach has said most everybody doubted his system, but the game has evolved.

”In the old days, you had kind of three out, two in, you had your traditional power forward, whether it was Karl Malone or Charles Oakley or somebody like that who was going to maybe shoot a 15-footer Youth Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys , but he was going to be banging down in the paint,” Kerr said.

”Mike eliminated that and created all that much more space. … The influence is there in the strategy and then over the last 10 years every player in the league has spent his summers shooting 500 3-pointers a day.”

Kerr’s partnership with D’Antoni lasted only that 2007-08 season in Phoenix before D’Antoni bolted for New York. A decade later, the 67-year-old D’Antoni has enjoyed his most successful stint in these two seasons with the Rockets.

His influence has reached the college game, too.

In the summer of 2014, Tara VanDerveer, the women’s Hall of Fame coach from Stanford, called on D’Antoni for an assist She needed to revamp her offense from the Cardinal’s tried-and-true triangle. D’Antoni helped with the transition.

Facing a D’Antoni team, Curry is prepared to defend constant pick-and-rolls. He understands the fast and creative tempo at which D’Antoni’s team plays.

”I guess you’d call it unorthodox when it comes to the things that he tries,” Curry said. ”But it seems that anybody who goes and plays for D’Antoni’s system their offensive numbers go out the roof, just because he knows how to put guys in the right positions and instill confidence when you’re out there to make plays.”

David Lee, an ex-Warrior, played for D’Antoni with the Knicks. Curry says Lee spoke of how D’Antoni sought to bring out the best in his players.

”So he’s had a great track record of putting up crazy offensive numbers and whatnot,” Curry said. ”And as a guy watching teams he used to coach he was always fun to watch.”



AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken contributed to this report.



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