NFL Nation: Parys Haralson

Saints Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
  • Are people tired of hearing about Brandin Cooks' daily exploits yet? I honestly don't think that we in the media are over-hyping the Saints' rookie receiver. He simply makes one or two of the biggest plays on the practice field every day. As quarterback Luke McCown said Monday, "He's got next level speed ... and quickness. We find him in positions where he's just separating from guys regularly." That was absolutely the case again Monday during an otherwise-sloppy practice in the rain. As Cooks said, he's from Corvallis, Oregon, so he's used to this weather. Cooks had two breakaway plays for big gains on short passes -- once cruising about 75 yards for a touchdown on a screen pass. Cornerback Keenan Lewis valiantly gave chase the whole way but didn't really have a chance. "He's a special player," McCown said. "I think that's easily recognized for any amount of time you spend watching him. He's a smart, heady player that you only have to teach a certain route or step or technique once, and he's got it down, and he begins to operate like a veteran. So the sky's the limit for that kid."
  • Two other rookies who haven't made an overwhelming amount of highlights during camp had arguably their biggest moments to date Monday -- safety Vinnie Sunseri and linebacker Khairi Fortt. Sunseri made a great diving interception during full-team drills (after Fortt probably would have had a sack on the same play if they were live tackling). Sunseri also broke up a deep pass intended for tight end Josh Hill. Fortt also had another would-be sack.
  • While we're on the subject of guys operating in the shadows, I'll give a little love to defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and linebacker Parys Haralson. Bunkley had a great run stuff early in practice to add to his sack from the other night in the preseason game. Although Bunkley hasn't made quite the impact the Saints were hoping for when they signed him in 2012, he was probably playing his best football yet in New Orleans during the second half of last season. Haralson, meanwhile, has stormed inside for would-be sacks on each of the past two days of practice in full-team drills.
  • Monday's practice made me second-guess my decision to add undrafted rookie tight end Nic Jacobs to my projected 53-man roster in place of receiver Joe Morgan. Jacobs had a rough practice, dropping one pass and having a ball stripped away from him by safety Pierre Warren after a catch. But then again, it's the 6-foot-5, 269-pounder's prowess as a blocker and special teams asset that made me put him on the 53-man roster in the first place. … Meanwhile, Morgan had two great catches in practice Monday -- especially impressive on a rainy day. As I said Monday morning, I'm not ruling Morgan out of the battle against Nick Toon and Robert Meachem for the fourth or fifth receiver jobs by any stretch. I just don't think the Saints will keep all three of those veteran receivers, so I decided to omit Morgan.
  • The Saints could get a chance at a do-over in the rain Tuesday. There's more rain in the forecast for their scheduled 8:50 a.m. ET practice. They also have a walk-through scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
So much for slowing down the free-agency pace now that we’ve hit April.

The New Orleans Saints stayed plenty busy on Tuesday, bringing in future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey for a visit and re-signing linebacker Parys Haralson.

Both moves make sense. Even though the Saints have been going through a bit of a youth movement this offseason, they could still use a little veteran depth on defense.

Obviously, the enthusiasm over the 35-year-old Bailey should be tempered a bit. The Denver Broncos chose to release him, and they’re in the exact same boat as the Saints -- a team going “all-in” to win right now.

Still, the idea of signing Bailey is a fascinating proposition. He’s one of the NFL’s all-time great cornerbacks, who would match wits in practice every day with another 35-year-old future Hall of Famer in quarterback Drew Brees. And if nothing else, Bailey would be a great addition to the locker room with one of the league’s rising young defenses.

Bailey is not a lock-down cornerback anymore. But that’s not what the Saints need (and it’s certainly not what they can afford at this point).

New Orleans has an outstanding No. 1 corner in his prime right now in Keenan Lewis, an outstanding safety in his prime in Jairus Byrd, and an up-and-coming star in safety Kenny Vaccaro.

Bailey could fit in nicely as a savvy veteran who would compete for the No. 2 job with unproven youngsters Corey White and Patrick Robinson. Or perhaps he could even play safety, which he is reportedly willing to consider, or some sort of hybrid role in nickel and dime packages.

It’s similar to the Saints’ line of thinking when they showed interest in veteran cornerback Brandon Browner this offseason.

Someone asked on Twitter why the Saints didn’t just keep Jabari Greer. I agree that a healthy Greer would be an ideal fit. But Greer’s knee injury remains a question mark for now.

As for Haralson, his fit is pretty obvious. Even though the Saints have outside linebacker Victor Butler coming back from a torn ACL this year, the two can split time in a rotation. Butler is more of a pass-rush specialist, while Haralson is more of a run-defense specialist.

Haralson played 37 percent of the Saints’ defensive snaps last season, racking up 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He could be used in a similar role this year, especially if the Saints line up in more true 3-4 formations than they did last year.

Chances are, the Saints will mostly line up with five defensive backs. That worked for them last season, and the modern passing game in the NFL practically requires it.

But as you may have noticed, Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is creative enough to mix and match a lot of players in a lot of formations.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –- Pass-rushers have moved quickly at the start of NFL free agency.

Greg Hardy (tagged in Carolina) and Michael Bennett (re-signed by Seattle) never made it to market. Lamarr Houston jumped from Oakland to Chicago, and Michael Johnson went from Cincinnati to Tampa Bay.

That’s four of the top five guys on ESPN’s resident GM Bill Polian’s list of ends Insider.

But all four of those guys are coming out of 4-3 situations.

[+] EnlargeDeMarcus Ware
AP Photo/Kevin TerrellDeMarcus Ware would be expensive, but could give Tennessee's pass rush a boost.
So is Denver’s Shaun Phillips, though he’s played end in a 3-4 front, too. He’s 32, but had 10 sacks last season.

At the very least the Tennessee Titans will be a hybrid front, and I think they ultimately will want to be predominantly a 3-4.

Washington’s Brian Orakpo is the kind of player the Titans need. The Redskins franchised him.

The list of available linebackers doesn’t include any absolute certainties in terms of sacks.

Polian gave 29 linebackers Insider grades of C or better. Eight have signed or been tagged.

Of the remaining 21, outside linebackers with 3-4 experience coming off productive pass-rushing seasons are rare.

Lamar Woodley had 5 sacks for Pittsburgh, Parys Haralson had 3.5 for New Orleans, Matt Shaughnessy had 3 for Arizona, and Reggie Walker had 3 for San Diego.

Hardly a bumper crop.

That brings us to DeMarcus Ware. The former Dallas Cowboy, released Tuesday, is 31 and is going to cost a great deal. He was a 4-3 end last season and had 6 sacks. But in 2012 he was a 3-4 outside backer and 11.5.

The scouting report from Polian and the guys who helped build his free agent board:
Ware is an excellent veteran pass-rusher who brings a combination of length, first-step quickness, explosiveness and the flexibility to bend the edge. He can hold up as an edge-setter against the run and has the versatility to play in both a 4-3 and 3-4. A very good athlete with questions only stemming from durability and age (31). Will generate significant interest from teams all over the league.

Ware turns 32 on July 31.

Julius Peppers, a 4-3 end, just came free, too, and he’s 34. Jared Allen has played his whole career in a 4-3 and is 31.

Tuesday we discussed how the Titans didn’t appear to be afraid of age in free agency.

I’m not sure if that will apply to a costly, aging pass-rusher.

Maybe the Titans jump out and spend big on Ware. Maybe they add a Woodley or a versatile Shaughnessy and blend them in with Akeem Ayers and maybe Kamerion Wimbley and Zach Brown, if Brown turns out to be an outside rather than inside backer in the new scheme.

Just about every player the Titans could look at for rush help from this free-agent class has a wart -- be it age, production or scheme fit/versatility.

I wonder if the likelihood is already up that the Titans spend their first- or second-round pick on and end or outside linebacker with pass-rush skills they think will translate to the NFL.

And if they’ll concentrate on bigger defensive linemen, inside linebacker and/or offensive tackle in the meantime.
METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints have had some preliminary discussions about re-signing free agent linebacker Parys Haralson, according to a league source. It sounds similar to the initial talks they've had recently with fellow veteran free agents such as right tackle Zach Strief and receiver Robert Meachem.

Although nothing is set in stone, it's still worth noting that the Saints have shown some interest in bringing Haralson back. I could definitely see him coming back as long as the price is right.

Haralson, 30, had a solid debut season with the Saints last year after they traded for him late in the preseason. He had 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks in a rotational role -- used primarily as a run defender. The 6-foot, 255-pounder played in every game in the regular season, starting eight of them, and he played 37 percent of New Orleans' defensive snaps.

Haralson went down with a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in the playoff opener at Philadelphia. But he is expected to be healed in time for the start of spring conditioning programs.

The Saints will have at least one more option available at outside linebacker this year, with veteran Victor Butler returning to the lineup after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. Butler is known as a pass-rushing specialist, though, so there could definitely be room for both players in a rotation across from fellow outside linebacker Junior Galette.

Upon Further Review: Saints Week 15

December, 16, 2013
ST. LOUIS -- An examination of four hot issues from the New Orleans Saints27-16 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome.

Playoff scenarios: As bad as the Saints’ loss was at St. Louis, they can quickly make up for it with a win Sunday at Carolina. If the Saints (10-4) beat the Panthers (10-4), they would clinch the NFC’s No. 2 seed. But if the Saints lose, they’ll need a win and a Panthers loss in Week 17 to claim that No. 2 seed. And while we’re looking at worst-case scenarios, the Saints still haven’t clinched a playoff berth yet. They need to win one more game or hope for some losses by other teams.

Jobs in jeopardy: Two starters are on shaky ground after their performances Sunday. Left tackle Charles Brown was pulled during the third quarter after coach Sean Payton said he “saw enough” of Brown struggling against pass-rusher Robert Quinn. It will be interesting to see if Payton puts Brown back in the starting lineup against Carolina -- a team Brown played well against in Week 14.

Meanwhile, kicker Garrett Hartley’s job could also be in jeopardy after he missed two field goal attempts (one of which was blocked). Payton mentioned the field goals first when listing the areas that bothered him after the game Sunday. And the Saints brought in a handful of kickers for tryouts last month when Hartley was struggling. Could this have been the last straw?

Road woes: Payton and quarterback Drew Brees finally admitted that their road performances have become a serious problem. Previously, the Saints had bristled at questions about their road record. My take is that they were obviously aware of their road issues but always confident they could fix them. Sunday, I think they were genuinely shocked at how poorly they played and how flat they were in a lackluster atmosphere at St. Louis.

“No one in here is blind or ignorant that we have not played as well on the road,” offensive tackle Zach Strief said. “When you get interviewed in this league, you don’t send out panic. That doesn’t mean that when we’re together and our doors are closed that we’re not looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying, ‘What’s going on?’ ... The fact of the matter is that there’s no time for figuring anything out right now. It’s you figure it out now or you go home.”

What went wrong: I’ll break down the specifics in my film studies this week, but it was pretty obvious that there were four problem areas that doomed the Saints: 1. Turnovers (Brees’ first interception and his fumble were due to pressure from Quinn, but the second interception was a poor decision). 2. Pass protection. 3. Missed tackles (more than we’ve seen all year, especially early; safety Malcolm Jenkins, cornerback Corey White and linebacker Parys Haralson missed three bad ones on long touchdown plays). 4. Missed field goals.
METAIRIE, La. -- Parys Haralson has mostly flown under the radar since being traded from the San Francisco 49ers to the New Orleans Saints during the preseason. But the veteran outside linebacker has been a steady part of the rotation and a respected leader for a young defense that has far exceeded expectations.

“There was a good fit, not only physically as a football player, but also as one who has had experience and been part of a winning program,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Haralson, whom the Saints reportedly acquired for a seventh-round pick after they lost their own veteran leader, Will Smith, to a season-ending knee injury.

“There’s a confidence level about him that he brings, and it really worked out well for us, just with his level of expertise of playing outside linebacker,” Payton said. “He is versatile in that he can give you rush snaps, and I think he is an outstanding teammate.”

Haralson has played 30 percent of the Saints’ snaps this season, with two sacks (including one last Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys), 14 tackles and a pass defensed. Haralson (6 feet, 255 pounds) has long been considered a strong run defender -- and he has been used more heavily against run-heavy offenses this season. That means he might see more playing time than usual this Sunday against his former team.

“I really look at it as it’s a regular game,” Haralson insisted this week. “I don’t say that because it’s probably the right thing to say -- you don’t want to go out and say something hurtful. But that’s really how I feel. There’s a bunch of guys I played with over there. I’ve got a bunch of friends still in that locker room. But I’m a New Orleans Saint, and I want to go out and help the Saints win. That’s what I’m focused on doing, going out and doing what I’ve got to do to help us earn a W.”

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said it was hard to trade Haralson, but that he’s happy for him. Haralson, who missed all of last season with a triceps injury, became expendable because of the 49ers' linebacker depth.

“I can’t wish him as much luck this week, but (I have) nothing but great respect for Parys Haralson as a player and a person,” Harbaugh said. “A-plus. A-plus-plus.”
Parys Haralson and Delanie Walker departed the San Francisco 49ers' roster this offseason after entering the NFL has 2006 draft choices with the team.

Another member of that 49ers draft class, fullback Michael Robinson, was a valued contributor to the division-rival Seattle Seahawks when the team released him Friday with age and salary-cap considerations in mind.

The 2006 class has been good to the 49ers. The team continues to get top-shelf contributions from tight end Vernon Davis, one of the team's two first-round picks from that 2006 class.

Mike Nolan was coach and Scott McCloughan was general manager for the 49ers back then. Some of the personnel moves they made continue to sustain the team. Frank Gore, Tarell Brown, Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Ray McDonald and Davis remain as players drafted under Nolan. All are valued contributors. Another Nolan-era pick, Adam Snyder, is back with the team as a reserve offensive lineman after spending 2012 with Arizona.

Davis is one of 10 first-round picks from 2006 playing with his original team. The list also includes A.J. Hawk, Haloti Ngata, Chad Greenway, Tamba Hali, Davin Joseph, DeAngelo Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Nick Mangold and Mathias Kiwanuka.
Alcohol abuse has been a common denominator for a run incidents involving NFL personnel.

News that Denver Broncos executive Matt Russell registered a .246 percent blood-alcohol reading after ramming into a police cruiser put an ugly exclamation point on the situation this week. Tom Nalen, the Broncos' retired former center, called the team cowardly for how it handled another team exec, Tom Heckert, following a DUI arrest a month earlier.

A witness in the murder case implicating New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, since waived by the team, said Hernandez and Odin Lloyd were drinking in excess days before Lloyd's murder. In an unrelated case, authorities arrested Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard on suspicion of DUI.

Here in the NFC West, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks could face charges following a June incident reportedly involving alcohol. Brooks allegedly used a beer bottle to strike teammate and designated driver Lamar Divens in the head three times.

The NFL and the 49ers have not yet taken action regarding Brooks, but as the alcohol-related incidents pile up around the league, the issue begs for renewed emphasis.

The league has been focused hard on player safety. Public safety is important, too. As Nalen said regarding the Broncos, perhaps swift and decisive public action against Heckert would have dissuaded Russell from registering a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit for driving.

It's unclear what will happen regarding Brooks. He had revived his career with the 49ers after a rocky tenure in Cincinnati that included a 2008 assault allegation. The 49ers signed Brooks to an extension last offseason. At the time, Brooks pledged to make sure he remained in good standing to avoid being cast off the way Cincinnati let him go.

"I pretty much told myself that I would never let that happen," Brooks said in February 2012. "Regardless of what goes on in my life, I will never let this happen again. I pretty much had to reevaluate myself as a player and a person to become the best person and the best football player I could be, because it's not going to last forever.

"And then once you retire from the game or once the NFL says no to you, we don't want you to play anymore, you want to go out knowing you did all you can do. And that's where I'm at with myself."

The 49ers had three linebackers named first-team Associated Press All-Pro last season. Brooks was named to the second team. Rookie third-round choice Corey Lemonier and former veteran starter Parys Haralson give the 49ers alternatives at outside linebacker.

Brooks, 29, saw his 2013 salary drop from $4.3 million to $2.7 million when contract incentives were not met. His deal carries $1.5 million in annual bonus proration through 2016, money the team still must account for under the salary cap whether or not Brooks remains with the team.

Sometimes it takes a few years to fully assess an NFL draft class' impact. Imperiled veterans can't afford to wait that long.

Among the NFC West veterans on alert as 2013 rookies arrive for minicamps Friday:

Eight in the box: Biggest cap casualty

February, 22, 2013
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Welcome to Eight in the Box, an NFL Nation feature that will appear each Friday during the offseason. This week’s topic: Who will be each team’s biggest salary-cap casualty this offseason?

Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback Kevin Kolb is scheduled to earn $9 million in salary from the Cardinals in 2013. Barring a trade, which appears unlikely, Kolb will accept a reduction in salary or receive his release. The Cardinals might be best off keeping Kolb at a reduced rate. But the fact Kolb finished last season with an 8-3 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions doesn't mean he was playing at a high level for Arizona. Kolb has posted a Total QBR score of 30.6 or lower in nine of his 14 starts with the Cardinals (50 is considered average). Kolb was significantly above average in two of his 14 starts -- victories over Philadelphia and Carolina. Arizona has paid $20.5 million to Kolb over the past two years. The team isn't going to give him another $9 million in salary this year.

St. Louis Rams: Running back Steven Jackson is scheduled to earn $7 million in salary for the 2013 season. I would expect the Rams to release Jackson if Jackson declined to accept less money. It might not come to that, however. Jackson has the ability to void his contract, and that seems like the most plausible scenario. Jackson found out last season the Rams weren't interested in extending his contract. If and when he realizes the team isn't interested in paying $7 million to him for 2013, Jackson would have clear incentive to opt out. That would not make him a cap casualty in a direct sense, but the effect would be the same. Safety Quintin Mikell's $6 million salary and $9 million cap figure make him a candidate for renegotiation. Also, journeyman tackle Wayne Hunter is scheduled to earn nearly $4 million.

San Francisco 49ers: Kicker David Akers is scheduled to earn $3 million in salary for the 2013 season. It's hard to envision the 49ers paying that amount to Akers given the kicker's struggles last season. They would have to consider their options at the position even if Akers were earning less money. The relatively high salary for Akers makes this one easy to foresee. Quarterback Alex Smith also has a relatively high salary for a backup ($7.5 million), but the 49ers are looking to trade him. They do not want to release him. Jonathan Goodwin, Carlos Rogers and Parys Haralson also have high enough cap figures to invite questions of value.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have more cap room than any team in the NFC West. They have a dozen players with 2013 cap figures projected at $2.9 million or higher, but none of the 12 appears to be a candidate for release even though Zach Miller ($11 million cap figure) and Sidney Rice ($9.7 million) are eating up $20 million together. Looking further down the salary scale, it's safe to assume the team won't pay $2.3 million in salary to backup receiver Ben Obomanu.
NEW ORLEANS -- Safety Ed Reed and cornerback Cary Williams were the only Baltimore Ravens defenders to start every regular-season game for the AFC champions this season.

The NFC champion San Francisco 49ers had nine defenders start every game.

Overall, the 49ers had 17 players start 16 games during the regular season. Eight Ravens players started 16 games apiece.

Roster health won't grab headlines the way brotherly coaching rivalries will grab them at the Super Bowl this week, but we all know which subject matters more.

The Ravens have gotten healthier lately, welcoming back Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis to their defensive lineup. But in looking at injured reserve lists for each Super Bowl team, the 49ers come out OK.

Baltimore's IR list features top cornerback Lardarius Webb, inside linebacker Jameel McClain and guard Jah Reid, all starters. It features special-teams contributors LaQuan Williams and Bobby Rainey, plus lesser contributors such as Damien Berry, Emanuel Cook, Christian Thompson, Tommy Streeter and Anthony Levine.

The 49ers' IR list features starting receiver Mario Manningham, No. 2 running back Kendall Hunter, third/fourth receiver Kyle Williams, backup outside linebacker Parys Haralson and backup tight end Demarcus Dobbs.

Defensive lineman Justin Smith's ability to return from a triceps injury suffered in Week 15 has been key for the 49ers. Smith, Suggs and Lewis all returned from arm injuries that threatened to end their seasons.
Former San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Nolan will be scheming against his former team in the NFC Championship Game as the Atlanta Falcons' defensive coordinator.

The job Nolan did as the 49ers' head coach isn't as relevant as the personnel decisions he made in conjunction with former general manager Scot McCloughan.

Those decisions were quite good ones in many cases. As a result, Nolan will be scheming to stop a 49ers offense featuring current or former Pro Bowl choices in left tackle Joe Staley, tight end Vernon Davis and running back Frank Gore, plus tight end Delanie Walker and, less probably, backup quarterback Alex Smith.

Ten Nolan-era draft choices remain with the 49ers. Five have achieved Pro Bowl status: linebacker Patrick Willis and safety Dashon Goldson in addition to Staley, Davis and Gore. Cornerback Tarell Brown, coming off a strong game against Green Bay, and defensive end Ray McDonald are also Nolan-era draft choices in the 49ers' starting lineup.

Smith isn't expected to play against the Falcons, but if he did, his falling out with Nolan over the coach's handling of a shoulder injury would instantly surface as a story line for revisiting.

Nolan was also in charge when the 49ers used free agency or waivers to add defensive lineman Justin Smith and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Both are starters. Smith is arguably the most important player on the 49ers' defense.
The Seattle Seahawks added defensive end Chris Clemons and kicker Steven Hauschka to their injured reserve lists this week.

Rookie Bruce Irvin, the 15th overall choice in the draft, will start in Clemons' place. Recently signed veteran Ryan Longwell will handle kicking duties for Hauschka.

Those moves led me to compile IR lists for remaining NFC playoff teams. I used the reserve lists at, which updates its rosters daily.

The Minnesota Vikings lined up against the San Francisco 49ers with regular personnel -- two backs, one tight end -- on first down with 5:07 left in the first quarter Friday night.

A year ago, the 49ers' Aldon Smith would have watched such a play from the sideline. He was a pass-rush specialist at the time.

Smith's current role as an every-down outside linebacker required him to defend that Vikings play Friday night. Smith chased running back Toby Gerhart, only to trip over teammate Donte Whitner. Smith landed hard on his right side, suffering a bruised hip.

Smith, who collected 14 sacks last season, stayed in the game for one more play, but he was limping. Smith then waved on his replacement, Parys Haralson. Smith left the game and was not expected to return.

No word yet on how long Smith might be sidelined.
The Mike Nolan era in San Francisco produced more heartache than the 49ers would care to revisit, but the long-term legacy isn't so bad.

Eleven draft choices, including eight current starters and five Pro Bowl selections, remain on the 49ers' roster from the Nolan era.

The other NFC West teams have a combined eight of their own draft choices from the same 2005-2008 window. That includes six starters and no Pro Bowl selections for the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.

Improved coaching and ownership have helped San Francisco get more from its talent. The current personnel department has also fared well in continuing to build, adding high-impact draft choices such as Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman.

Overall, the 49ers have a division-high 38 of their own draft choices. The Seahawks are closest behind with 34, including 26 drafted since Pete Carroll became head coach in 2010.

In St. Louis, new coach Jeff Fisher inherits a young franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, but he has only one Rams draft choice from 2005-2008: defensive end Chris Long. Consider this one more way to define first-year expectations for St. Louis relative to the expectations when Jim Harbaugh took over in San Francisco. Fisher inherits so much less.

Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Tarell Brown, Delanie Walker, Patrick Willis, Larry Grant, Joe Staley, Vernon Davis, Ray McDonald, Parys Haralson and Dashon Goldson remain with the 49ers from their 2005-2008 drafts. Gore, Willis, Staley, Davis and Goldson have achieved Pro Bowl status. Those five and Alex Smith, Brown, McDonald, Haralson and (sometimes) Walker started for the 49ers last season.

Leroy Hill, Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Ben Obomanu remain with Seattle from that era. The Cardinals still have Calais Campbell, Early Doucet and Levi Brown.

The chart breaks down NFC West draft choices by how many remain with their original teams and by the head coaches who welcomed those players into the league.

The 49ers have two players from the Dennis Erickson era (punter Andy Lee, defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga) and one from the Steve Mariucci era (snapper Brian Jennings). They are the only team in the division with a draft choice remaining from five head coaches ago (Jennings). The Rams have one player, Steven Jackson, remaining from the Mike Martz era (four coaches ago).

Update: I reduced by one the total for the Rams under Fisher to reflect the fact that Cortland Finnegan was a Fisher draft choice in Tennessee, not St. Louis.