lsufloridafootball.100718_2383

LSU wide receiver Derrick Dillon (19) is stopped by Florida safety Donovan Stiner (13) and Florida defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (23) in the first half, Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson thought he would have had his name called before Saturday.

Many projected him to go in the second or third round or Friday.  

But once Saturday came around, the safety from Florida didn't have to wait long.

The Saints moved up in the draft and picked Gardner-Johnson with the third pick of the fourth round.

"It's been a long day, actually a long weekend," Gardner-Johnson said from his home in Cocoa, Fla. "I didn't think I was ever going to get the call. But now that I got the call, I just got to put my head down and work."

 The Saints traded up from the No. 14 spot of the round to select Gardner-Johnson, who was selected to the AP All Bowl team this past season. 


Can't see video below? Click here.


In exchange, New Orleans gave up its fourth round pick in the round and its fifth-round pick to the New York Jets.Gardner-Johnson recorded  71 tackles, including nine tackles for loss to go with his three sacks. He also led the Gators with four interceptions. 

Meet Saints' Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: Ball-hawking safety changed name to honor his stepdad

He adds to a safety position that currently has Marcus Williams, Vonn Bell and Chris Banjo on the roster. Gardner-Johnson can play either close to the line of scrimmage or free safety. 

"It's the best all around team, top to bottom, on offense and defense," Gardner-Johnson said. "I'm coming into  a system where everything has an identity and standard. I have to come in to live up to that standard and identity so everybody on that team and in the front office upstairs can be proud of me and say this guy is a Saint."

Video: Newly drafted Erik McCoy breaks down into tears after Saints move up to take him

The Saints drafted Texas A&M offensive lineman Erik McCoy on Friday in the second round.

Gil Brandt, a former VP of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys who currently works as an analyst for NFL.com, tweeted about the Saints' first two draft picks.

"For a team that's only had two picks, in Rounds 2 and now here in Round 4, the Saints are making the most of them," Brandt tweeted. "Erik McCoy at 48 overall and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson at 105 are steals."

Saints trade up, select Texas A&M center Erik McCoy in Round 2 of NFL draft


Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.