The SAINTS’ picks are in

Austin American-Statesman photo by RALPH BARRERA -- Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro
Austin American-Statesman photo by RALPH BARRERA -- Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro

Kenny Vaccaro

Round 1, Pick 15

Position: Safety

School: Texas

Size: 6-0, 214

WHO HE IS

Earned first-team All-America honors in 2012 from Pro Football Weekly and was an All-Big 12 pick the past two seasons in voting by the league’s coaches.

WHAT HE CAN DO

A versatile player, Vaccaro started games at free safety, strong safety, strongside linebacker and even middle linebacker in his four-year college career.

WHAT PAYTON HAS TO SAY

Saints coach Sean Payton: “He’s got that versatility to play not only safety, but to play down over the slot. You saw a lot of evidence of that. In fact, we had to go back and get more snaps of true safety film on him, rather than nickel film. He’s versatile enough to play either of the safety positions and certainly a guy that can handle some of the nickel.”

GURU TALK

NFLDraftScout.com: “While the Longhorns’ talented defense struggled with consistency in 2012, Vaccaro shined with a career-high 107 tackles. … Fits the mold of a versatile safety with the physical nature to support the run, but also the athleticism to hold up in coverage and line up in the slot.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Vaccaro’s uncle, A.J. Johnson, played seven years in the NFL and won Super Bowl XXVI with the Washington Redskins.

Terron Armstead

Round 3, Pick 75

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Size: 6-5, 304

WHO HE IS

A standout in football and track, Armstead was an FCS first-team All-American and three-time All-SWAC first-team pick as a left tackle.

WHAT HE CAN DO

Run. A combination of size, power and speed — yes speed — he opened eyes with solid workouts and showed off a 40 time of 4.71 seconds.

WHAT PAYTON HAS TO SAY

Saints coach Sean Payton: “That’s the position (left tackle) we see him at. He had the fastest 40 (by an offensive lineman) at the combine. He can run. He’s very athletic. He’s someone that’s very intelligent and has good length, but his athleticism is the thing if you measure the quickness and those things. I see that being the position we scouted him for, and probably most everyone else did as well.”

GURU TALK

NFL Draft Report: “Armstead displayed very good explosion with his initial step, coming off the ball with good urgency on both run and pass plays. He is a solid walk-off drive blocker who moves with ease getting into the second level. He plays with natural strength and has shown marked improvement with his power base.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Was an eight-time SWAC champion as a thrower in track and field. Capped his high-school career with an Illinois state shot put title.

John Jenkins

Round 3, Pick 82

Position: Defensive tackle

School: Georgia

Size: 6-4, 359

WHO HE IS

Former junior college star was a second-team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele and an All-American Dream Team selection by NFL Draft Report.

WHAT HE CAN DO

At almost 360 pounds, Jenkins can plug up the middle of the defensive line with his size and quickness with broad shoulders and large arms and hands.

WHAT PAYTON HAS TO SAY

Saints coach Sean Payton: “He lines up in the nose in a 3-4 front, and one of the things you see is real good initial quickness for a player of that size. You see real good ‘get-off.’ He’s light on his feet, he’s athletic, and sometimes that’s unusual for a player who is as big as he is and weighs as much as he does. Those are the redeeming qualities.”

GURU TALK

NFL Draft Report: “With his big, strong hands, body mass and aggression, Jenkins excels at shutting down the interior running game. He can split double teams consistently with leverage. He is quick to recover and create a pile. He is almost always double-teamed, but once he sets his anchor is impossible to move out.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Recorded some impressive numbers at the scouting combine, including 30 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

Kenny Stills Jr.

Round 4, Pick 144

Position: Wide receiver

School: Oklahoma

Size: 6-0, 194

WHO HE IS

Came out of high school in California as a five-star recruit by Scout.com. Was a second-team All-Big 12 pick by league coaches the past two seasons.

WHAT HE CAN DO

Stretched the field with his speed, which he flashed in posting a 40 time of 4.38 seconds. Was a productive receiver with 204 catches and 24 TDs in three seasons.

WHAT PAYTON HAS TO SAY

Saints coach Sean Payton: “He runs exceptionally well, and he’s fluid. Kenny’s got a really good background with his body of work and with the way he plays. He’s fast and has been productive and played at a high level of competition. He can run, and he’s 6 feet and is lean. That’s the way he’s built.”

GURU TALK

NFLDraftScout.com: “A natural athlete with experience in a diverse offense in which he lined up at multiple positions. He’s more physical and faster than he appears, but needs to play smarter and avoid team-killing mistakes caused by his competitiveness. Has good footwork in his routes and looks fluid in his breaks, helping him separate.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Both his dad and uncle played in the NFL. Kenny Stills Sr. was a college teammate of Al Toon, the father of Saints wideout Nick Toon.

Rufus Johnson Jr.

Round 6, Pick 183

Position: Outside linebacker

School: Tarleton State

Size: 6-5, 270

WHO HE IS

A second-team Division II All-American who also was the Lone Star Conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2012 as an end in 2012.

WHAT HE CAN DO

Johnson is viewed as a solid pass rusher, which has the Saints projecting him as an outside linebacker because of his size and 4.69 speed in the 40.

WHAT PAYTON HAS TO SAY

Saints coach Sean Payton: “One of the things we try to do in the later rounds is the size, speed and measurables. He has the physical stature we’re looking for. We feel he can rush the passer pretty well and line up at the outside (linebacker) positions. It’s harder to take a small-school player and project how he’s going to do, but we saw signs with his pass rush.

“He’s someone who really started getting the attention of a lot of people. So we started going back and watching the tapes. The film is not as good at some of those schools. You have a hard time because they don’t always have the wide-angle or tight-angle shots.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Johnson will be one of two former Tarleton players on the Saints’ roster as wide receiver Saalim Hakim also attended the Stephenville, Texas, school.

Sheldon Mickles