As a native of Atlanta, Damian Swann grew up a Falcons fan.
“They’re not my employer. I’m a New Orleans Saint now,” the former Georgia cornerback said after being taken in the fifth round of the draft.
Besides now envisioning how he’s going to look in Black & Gold, Swann was impressed the Saints traded up (giving up a 2016 sixth-round choice) 13 spots to take him with the next-to-last pick in the fifth round and 160th overall.
For someone who sat though Friday’s second and third rounds and then the fourth round and almost all of the fifth Saturday, feeling wanted eased some of the sting of waiting.
“The draft is a slow process,” Swann said. “When you’re not one of the top guys and you know you’re not going to be one of the top guys, it’s kind of nerve-wracking, because you’re just sitting there waiting and waiting, just hoping you’ll get an opportunity.
“It definitely put me in a good position when those guys traded up and to come and get me.”
Running back Marcus Murphy from Missouri had an even longer wait than Swann. The Saints didn’t take him until the seventh round at No. 230.
“I was a little anxious about it,” said Murphy, who watched the draft with his family at his home in Dallas. “It’s an exciting feeling when you’ve been watching the draft and when it gets down to the seventh round you finally see your name picked.
“You’re thinking about maybe being a free agent, and then I got the great call.”
Chip on his shoulder
Nearly all third-day draftees at some point in time felt they should have gone higher.
But for linebacker Davis Tull, taken by the Saints in the fifth round, it was pretty much par for the course.
When he was a senior in Bearden High in Knoxville, Tennessee, Tull suffered a broken leg in the second game of his senior season, causing him to miss the rest of the season, and, resulting in his scholarship offers drying up.
Tull wound up walking on at Chattanooga, where, after redshirting as a freshman, he became a three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
However, a shoulder injury pushed him into the fifth round instead of the third or fourth as he had been generally projected.
“I think all of the things that have happened in my life and in my football career up to this point have built that chip,” Tull said. “It gives me extra motivation, and it helps me play with that extra edge.
“I think at the end of the day it’s all helped me and adds fuel to the fire.”
Like first-round pick Andrus Peat, Fresno State’s Tyeler Davison, the defensive tackle New Orleans took in the fifth round, is from the Phoenix area, although his Deseret Mountain High in Phoenix never played Peat’s Corona del Sol High team from Chandler.
However, Peat was happy to find out the Saints will open the season against the Arizona Cardinals in University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be the Saints’ first trip to Arizona since 2010, when both Peat and Davison were still in high school.
“They (the Saints) didn’t tell me about that,” Davison said when informed about what figures to be his NFL debut. “That will be cool.
“But I’m probably going to have to come up with a lot of tickets.”
With the 112th pick ...
Almost forgotten in the Jimmy Graham trade was that the Saints also sent their fourth-round pick to the Seahawks.
On Friday, Seattle packed the pick it received along with three others to get Washington’s third-round choice, which they used to draft wide receiver Tyler Lockett of Kansas State. Another wide receiver Jaelin Strong of Arizona State went to the 49ers with the next pick.
The Redskins then used the 112th pick to take guard Arie Kouandjio of Alabama.