Saints Help Both Sides Of The Ball In Draft

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ It wasn't panic. It was caution. The New Orleans Saints traded for the Houston Texans' 13th overall pick so they could select Oklahoma tackle Jammal Brown. In exchange, the Saints gave up their 16th overall pick this year and a third-round pick in 2006. ``It's just a situation where we went up and got our guy,'' Saints director of player personnel Rick Mueller said. ``There were a number of things that could have happened.'' There were rumors that teams ahead of the Saints wanted Brown, Mueller said. The Carolina Panthers had been talking to Brown all week. But they were also worried about teams behind them moving up and getting him, so they parted with a future third-round pick they hadn't planned on giving up. ``We had a couple of guys in mind,'' Mueller said. ``We thought if we sat there we might lose both guys.'' Brown, 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, was regarded as one of the top defensive tackles in the nation coming out of MacArthur High School in Lawton, Okla. In college he switched to the offensive line and then watched the offensive schemes change as coaches came and went, so he doesn't expect to have trouble with the Saints playbook. ``I've learned two or three different offenses, and that's also coming from defense,'' Brown said. ``I'm a guy that will have to work at it and learn, but that's not going to be a problem.'' Brown said he's only given up two sacks in college, the last was in his junior year against Texas. He credits the mentality he learned to all those years of trying to bring down quarterbacks and running backs instead of protecting them. ``I played defense my whole life and have that mentality on the offensive side of the ball,'' Brown said. ``That aggression comes with you and helps to dominate and destroy. I think that's one of my advantages.'' Saints officials were thought to be interested in defensive help in the draft. New Orleans finished dead last overall in defense on the way to an 8-8 record last year.

The Saints had liked Georgia safety Thomas Davis, who they felt had the size to play linebacker. ``I think Jammal helps us right now, I think he starts right now,'' coach Jim Haslett said. ``I can't say the same about Thomas Davis.'' They hope Brown will be able to step into the right tackle position quickly. Victor Riley, who played that position last year, was cut after the season because of his repeated pre-snap penalties. ``There will be a little bit of a learning curve, but that's one of the things we liked about him,'' Mueller said. ``He played in a similar offense and hopefully the learning curve will be short.'' With their second-round pick, the Saints took Nebraska safety Josh Bullocks. Bullocks, who earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2003 after grabbing a conference record 10 interceptions, said he decided to skip his senior season with the Cornhuskers to help his family financially. ``He was the highest defensive player we had left on the board,'' Haslett said. ``I think he's a guy that can come in and help us in certain areas and eventually be a starter.''