Undrafted players have impact on Saints

Seven undrafted rookies made the Saints last year: defensive end Glenn Foster, backup quarterback Ryan Griffin, tight end Josh Hill, linebacker Kevin Reddick, running back Khiry Robinson, offensive lineman Tim Lelito and cornerback Rod Sweeting.

Not all of New Orleans’ undrafted college free agents last year were destined to be success stories, however. Signed in free agency shortly after the draft, tight end Keavon Milton as well as linebackers Eric Martin, Ray Shipman and Chase Thomas all failed to make it out of training camp. Running back Shawne Alston and cornerback Ryan Lacy failed to clear the rookie minicamp.

Kicker Jose Maltos and wide receiver Brent Leonard were undrafted rookies the Saints signed after a minicamp but were then cut in training camp.

Success stories

Glenn Foster: A defensive end out of Illinois, Foster had three sacks during the regular season, tying for fifth on the team and prompting many to rave about his pass-rushing potential.

Ryan Griffin: A quarterback out of Tulane, began his rookie year on the Saints’ practice squad. He was later promoted to the 53-man roster after St. Louis, who had lost its starting signal-caller to injury, tried to sign him away in October.

Josh Hill: A tight end out of Idaho State, Hill appeared in 14 regular-season games and two playoff contests. He caught six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown in the regular season, then he had two grabs for 32 yards in the playoffs.

Kevin Reddick: The former linebacker from North Carolina led the Saints’ special teams with 11 tackles (nine solo) and one forced fumble in the regular season.

Khiry Robinson: A running back out of West Texas A&M, Robinson became a fan favorite after picking up 224 yards and a touchdown on 54 carries over 10 regular-season games last year. He then racked up 102 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in two playoff games.

Tim Lelito: An offensive lineman from Grand Valley State, Lelito filled in at right guard for two games that four-time First Team All-Pro Jahri Evans missed with injuries.

Rod Sweeting: A cornerback from Georgia Tech, Sweeting saw a little action in the regular season on defense and special teams. But then, after star cornerback Keenan Lewis left a wild-card victory at Philadelphia with a third-quarter concussion, Sweeting had to come in and play a substantial number of snaps.

Also-rans

Eric Martin and Keavon Milton were backups in Cleveland last year. Chase Thomas, after stops in Oakland and Atlanta, signed with Green Bay’s practice squad in January.

Ryan Lacy and Ray Shipman turned up in the CFL last year. Like Lacy and Shipman, Shawne Alston, Brent Leonard, Jose Maltos and Elliott Mealer are not on any NFL teams.