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Sunday, September 28, 2008
San Francisco at New Orleans: Saints DNA profile

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- While a steady rain falls at the Meadowlands in advance of the Cardinals-Jets game, I put together a roided-out Saints roster for those of you monitoring the 49ers' game at New Orleans today.

The Saints are the third-oldest team in the league behind St. Louis and Washington, but their starters rank in the middle of the pack on both sides of the ball (18th-oldest on offense, 17th-oldest on defense).

New Orleans has only 21 of its own draft choices by my count, tied with the Rams and Browns for sixth-fewest in the league. The league average is 26.

Seven Saints draft choices still with the team played college ball in the SEC, tied for second-most in the league. No Saints draft choices from the ACC remain on the 53-man roster. Every other team has at least one (Seattle leads the league with 11).

Despite having only 37 drafted players (selected by any team), the Saints have more players drafted in the fifth and seventh rounds -- 14 combined -- than any team in the league. The Saints have four starters drafted in the fifth, most in the league and well above average (1.4).

Based on my most recent starting lineups, New Orleans is the only team in the league without one of its own draft choices starting at linebacker. They have patched the position with free-agent veterans such as Jonathan Vilma, Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita.