- Mike Triplett, ESPN Staff Writer
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METAIRE, La. -- A few quick thoughts on the first of two third-round picks for the New Orleans Saints:
The pick: Garrett Grayson, quarterback, Colorado State
My take: One question looms above all others: What does this mean for the long-term future of Drew Brees in New Orleans? This doesn't automatically signal that Brees will be replaced in the next year or two, since the Saints waited until Round 3 and had the luxury of extra picks to work with this year. For instance, nobody thinks Tom Brady is about to be pushed out the door in New England by last year's second-round pick, Jimmy Garoppolo. But a major decision will have to be made soon since Brees, 36, has just two years remaining on his contract. I think Brees still has more than two good years left in him. I can't argue with the Saints being proactive at the vital QB position, but I would take issue with the Saints rushing to replace their all-time greatest player before he's ready.
Gruden's top choice: ESPN analyst Jon Gruden -- who happens to be a close friend of Saints coach Sean Payton and an offensive coach with a similar West Coast background -- absolutely loves Grayson. When asked last month to name some underrated gems in this year's draft class that could slip through the cracks like Russell Wilson did, Grayson was the first player named. Gruden thinks he's the third-best QB in this year's class and would have been a worthy second-rounder. The knocks on Grayson are his size (6-foot-2, 213 pounds), limited arm strength and history of shoulder injuries (sound like a Brees protégé or what?). But Grayson played in a pro-style system in college, throwing for 7,702 yards and 55 TDs over the past two years, and Gruden raved about his intelligence. ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer said he's concerned that Grayson has already hit his ceiling, but he said if any coach can get more out of him, it's Payton -- so he loved the fit.
Grayson's top choice: Grayson said before and after he was drafted that it was his "dream" to go somewhere and play behind a future Hall of Famer like Brees and learn for a couple years. He said as a competitor, he wants to come in and compete as if he could start right away, but he knows the value of learning from the best and said Brees will get tired of him asking questions. Grayson had a private workout with the Saints just last week but said he was extremely disappointed with his performance. He said he texted Saints QB coach Mike Neu. Apparently Grayson did enough to impress them, though.
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