Saints already have part of Class of '09

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Wednesday was Mickey Loomis' day to do one of the things coaches and general managers around the league least like to do.

Loomis was the front man for the Saints' pre-draft press conference. If you've ever been to one of these things or seen or heard one of these interviews, you've pretty much seen and heard them all. The media tries to do its job, trying to get any information that might shed light on draft plans. And coaches and general managers try to do their job by giving out as little information as possible.

Loomis is a veteran general manager now and he's gotten pretty good at handling this situation. He smiled, made a few jokes (telling the media Drew Brees is not available for trade), but really didn't reveal much that's worth even trying to read into.

He acknowledged the Saints will at least consider trades and admitted trading down is more likely than trading up because New Orleans doesn't have many draft picks to offer. He steered clear of specific talk about specific draft prospects.

But I did find one thing pretty interesting as Loomis talked about the fact the Saints have only four draft picks as of this moment. He put the reason for that into pretty good perspective.

"It is what it is," Loomis said. "Our second-round pick and our fifth-round pick and our third-round pick are Jeremy Shockey and Jonathan Vilma and we're happy to have those guys here. I'm pleased that we were able to use those picks and acquire those players."

All too often, I think teams get too hung up on keeping their picks, which may or may not work out. I like the baseball school of thought of trading for established players and Loomis followed that route last year when he traded for Vilma and Shockey. Vilma has worked out well and I still think a healthy Shockey could have a big impact this season.

Due to those moves and the fact the Saints are getting Adrian Arrington and DeMario Pressley back from injuries makes the shortage of draft picks look like a tolerable situation. Loomis even implied Arrington and Pressley essentially will be members of this year's rookie class and I think that's a valid point.

"I think both of those guys are exactly in that category," Loomis said. "They're almost like draft picks this year. We'll spend a lot of time evaluating those guys in the offseason and the preseason. The good news is that we've had some looks at them and we've liked what we've seen so far."