If you’re thinking that the combination of the New Orleans Saints and Samford University sounds familiar, then your not imagining things.
If your memory is still a little foggy on the subject then let me help you…Corey White.
White was chosen by the Saints in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and while he showed promise, those promises seemed to be pretty much broken at the end of 2014.
Mentioning White’s name may cause high blood pressure and rage for Saints fans after a mostly down career, but let’s not hold it against Samford University.
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In fact, the Bulldogs currently have a safety going into the 2015 NFL Draft that could help the Saints if they take a chance on him in the mid-rounds.
Jaquiski Tartt has slowly been climbing the draft board since the beginning of the year and is considered to be only a few slots behind Landon Collins in the safety class this year.
Jan 22, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad tight end Clive Walford of Miami (46) catches a pass as safety Jaquiski Tartt of Samford (6) defends during Senior Bowl South squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
At 6’1″ and 221 lbs. Tartt is an imposing figure and a player that NFL analyst Charles Davis mentioned as being “an absolute missile“.
Combined with size, he also has speed which he showed off at the Combine running a 4.53 40-yard dash which was the top time for safeties.
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He would later improve that time at his Pro Day by running a 4.47 and also performed well in drills on the field. During his sophomore year in 2012, Tartt made his presence felt with 94 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 10 passes broken up.
He’d follow that up with 98 tackles, 1 interception, and 9 passes broken up in 2013 while finishing his senior year in 2014 with 62 tackles, 1 interception, and one pass broken up.
Tartt is well known for being an aggressive safety and seems to want to basically destroy anyone he is trying to tackle resulting in huge collisions in run support.
The one knock that may be against him is that Tartt is not known for being a huge coverage guy and is more suited to play the strong safety position.
Although he might seem to be limited with pass coverage, Tartt’s 20 career passes broken up show he isn’t afraid to mix it up with a receiver, either.
As far as the strong safety spot on the current roster for the Saints goes, Rafael Bush is really the only solid starter. When Bush went down with an injury last year, the lack of depth was obvious and damning for the maligned defense.
Currently graded as a third to fourth round pick, Tartt would be a good value pick for the Saints and bring a hard hitter to the secondary……