Saints draft DT Jenkins, OT Armstead in third round

METAIRIE (AP) — Sean Payton and the Saints absorbed one final bounty blow, then went about a busy third round of the NFL draft

that landed a pair of prospects who could strengthen their offensive and defensive lines.

The Saints selected offensive tackle Terron Armstead with their own pick, then made a pair of quick trades — one sending running

back Chris Ivory to the New York Jets — that allowed New Orleans to also draft defensive tackle John Jenkins in the round.

"It's been kind of busy," Payton said shortly after the third round ended.

The 6-foot-5, 306-pound Armstead, picked

75th overall out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, was New Orleans' first pick

Friday night.

The Saints were docked their second-round selection as part of

their punishment stemming from the NFL's 2012 bounty findings.

That was the last remaining sanction from the bounty matter that

overshadowed the Saints' 2012 season and also resulted in

a season-long suspension of Payton.

In order to get Jenkins, the Saints first traded Ivory to the Jets for a fourth-round pick. New Orleans then sent both its

own fourth-round pick and the one acquired from New York to Miami in exchange for the Dolphins' 82nd overall choice.

Payton said Miami had about a minute left on

the clock for the 82nd pick when the deal went through to let the

Saints draft

at that spot instead. He added that he will miss Ivory, but that

the reserve running back was one asset the Saints could afford

to trade in order to provide more help to a defense that needs it.

Although Ivory had proved he could be powerful, punishing

runner with big-play ability, he had remained fourth on the

Saints' depth chart behind Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre

Thomas.

"We felt coming into this offseason that

there was one position where we had solid depth, more than enough depth

if you will

that — how could we possibly use that to help ourselves either

defensively or another position need," Payton said. "In this

case, it ended up being part of how we were able to help ourselves

defensively."

The pick of Armstead was announced by former Saints special teams leader Steve Gleason, who has ALS and used a computer voice

that mimics the real voice he lost to make the announcement at the podium in New York.

Armstead gives the Saints depth at offensive

tackle following the departure of former starting left tackle Jermon

Bushrod

to Chicago in free agency. Charles Brown, a 2010 second-round pick

out of Southern California, could be Bushrod's successor

at that spot, but Armstead said he hopes to compete for playing

time immediately.

"I really don't see myself sitting out," Armstead said. "I love being on the field and I have a problem sitting on the bench.

I know I have a lot to learn and I'm willing and ready to learn as fast as I can, as fast as I possibly can to get on the

field."

Armstead started all 12 games at left tackle in his senior season. He also was invited to play at both the East-West Shrine

Game and the Senior Bowl.

He not only played football at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but also was on the track and field team, competing in the shot put. He

was an All-Southwestern Athletic Conference player three times in football and took shot put titles as well.

He also is known to have exceptional foot speed for an offensive lineman, running the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds.

Payton repeatedly highlighted Armstead's athleticism while talking about him, but said it was too early to say how long it

would take him to learn the nuances of the NFL left tackle position well enough to protect Drew Brees' blind side.

"I know he's going to be able to come in here and compete for that opportunity, but we've got players ahead of him that are

going to be doing the same thing," Payton said.

Two of the Saints' first three picks will join a defense that gave up an NFL single-season record 7,042 yards last season,

and which is being revamped under new coordinator Rob Ryan.

The Saints took Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro

with their first-round pick, 15th overall, on Thursday night. Payton

said the Saints

also were looking for a big body on the interior of the defensive

line, and the 6-foot-4, 346-pound Jenkins fit that description.

Jenkins started 13 games for Georgia last

season and was credited with 50 tackles, including two for losses and a

sack. He

played nose tackle in Georgia's 3-4 defense and was credited for

creating a lot of pressure on the quarterback and forcing

hurried throws. That resume appears to make Jenkins a good fit in

the new 3-4 defense Ryan is installing in New Orleans this

season.

Payton said the Saints got to know Jenkins and several other Georgia prospects very well, in part because they interviewed

Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham for the same job in New Orleans before ultimately hiring Ryan instead.

Jenkins, meanwhile, seemed overcome with elation at the realization that he had arrived in the NFL after working his way up

from Gulf Coast Community College in Mississippi to Georgia, and now the Saints.

"I never thought the dream of being in the

NFL would actually happen. I just tried to seize every moment I had,

every step

I took," Jenkins said. "I never thought I would be playing for a

big-time school, going to Georgia. I never thought I would

be going to the NFL.

"I'm just going to come in there and work. I've been doing that for some odd years now," Jenkins added. "Every place I've

gone to I just went there and worked and try to learn from the best."