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Saturday, April 24, 2010
Saints jump over Panthers, get DT

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

It’s the fourth round and things aren’t as interesting as they were earlier in the draft, but we just saw what might have been some strong competition between two NFC South teams.

The New Orleans Saints decided to jump up to No. 123 to take LSU defensive tackle Al Woods. They gave up picks No. 130 and 201 to Arizona to get there, and they might have done that with the Carolina Panthers in mind. The Panthers had shown some pretty strong interest in Woods in the pre-draft process, and it was no secret the Panthers were in the market for a run-stuffer. So were the Saints and they got one. And he’s a local guy.

The Panthers held pick No. 124 and they turned around and went with a local guy of their own. They took South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood. That still leaves a need for a run-stuffer, but Norwood brings some other skills.

Originally a defensive end, Norwood moved to linebacker later in his college career and was very productive there. Norwood has some skills as a pass-rusher and also has the skills to develop in pass coverage. He likely will get a chance to compete with James Anderson and Dan Connor for the starting job on the strong side.