Cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste on Saturday became the Saints’ fourth 2014 draft pick to sign, the team announced.
Jean-Baptiste, selected in the second round of the draft with the No. 58 pick, signed his four-year contract a day after linebacker Ronald Powell, safety Vinnie Sunseri and tackle Tavon Rooks did the same. Powell from Florida and Sunseri from Alabama were taken in the fifth round; Rooks from Kansas State was chosen in the sixth.
Neither first-round pick Brandin Cooks, the wide receiver from Oregon State, nor fourth-rounder Khairi Fortt, a linebacker from California, had inked their deals as of Saturday night.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Jean-Baptiste joined the Saints after he intercepted four passes as a senior with Nebraska. He tied for the team lead in interceptions and topped the Cornhuskers in pass breakups (12), earning second-team all-Big Ten honors.
He has only played cornerback since 2011; he played safety and receiver in high school in Miami. He began his post-high school career as a wideout at a college preparatory school in North Carolina, and he stayed at the position as a redshirt at Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College and initially following his transfer to Nebraska before switching to cornerback.
Jean-Baptiste had the best vertical jump (41.5 inches) among cornerbacks at the NFL combine in February and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at his pro day.
On Saturday, the second day of the Saints’ rookie minicamp, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he envisioned Jean-Baptiste being able to effectively press receivers at the line of scrimmage thanks to his bulk and speed.
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” he said. “He doesn’t just have size — he has everything. He’s just a little green for the position. But for us, he’s the perfect guy. We believe we can make him into something special.”