METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints made a flurry of moves after their rookie minicamp, signing six players Monday. And they got especially creative, with at least two of them switching positions.
The Saints signed former Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas, per source, but his position remains a bit of a mystery. He was listed at defensive back on the Saints’ rookie camp roster, though he could also be switched to wide receiver.
The 5-foot-9, 186-pounder is a standout athlete who converted to defensive back and kick returner during the Senior Bowl, then auditioned at DB, WR, KR and QB at his pro day.
The Saints took that creativity a step further with former South Dakota defensive lineman Drew Iddings -- whom they switched to guard during the weekend after they got a look at his size and athleticism. The 6-5, 290-pounder spent last summer as an undrafted rookie with the Oakland Raiders and has never played on the offensive line. But other teams had expressed interest in a similar move during the last year.
The Saints also signed veteran offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, veteran tight end Clay Harbor and undrafted rookie running back Trey Edmunds after they tried out during rookie camp. And they signed veteran guard Josh LeRibeus, who was not part of the rookie camp.
Buchanan was an undrafted rookie from Miami (Ohio) who opted to leave the team before minicamp started. Saints coach Sean Payton said they spent some time in his office Friday and, “he felt pretty confident he didn’t want to play anymore.”
“That happens from time to time,” Payton said. “And I told him this, and it’s the truth really, ‘It’s not for everyone.’ He was just one of those players that felt like he was ready to get on with (what’s) next.”
Barnes, 35, is an 11-year veteran of the Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars who has started 117 career games and bounced on and off the Saints’ roster last year without appearing in a game -- partly because they wanted him to lose weight.
And, wow, did he ever.
Barnes (6-foot-6) told NOLA.com’s Herbie Teope that he has dropped more than 40 pounds since last August, down to 314 now.
Harbor is a seven-year veteran who has started 38 career games with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jaguars, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions. The 6-3, 240-pounder has 114 career receptions for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns.
LeRibeus (6-2, 315) was a third-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins in 2012 who has played in 28 games with 12 starts during the last four years -- including 11 starts last season.
Edmunds is the son of former NFL tight end Ferrell Edmunds Jr. The 6-2, 223-pounder spent his first four years at Virginia Tech before playing at Maryland as a graduate transfer. He had 26 carries for 158 yards and a touchdown last year, and he also returned a blocked punt for a score.