South Notes: Saints, Falcons, Colts, Ward

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis spoke to reporters today about his team’s draft plans, and took the opportunity to take a shot at one reporter who wasn’t involved in the presser. After Ian Rapoport of suggested earlier this week that the Saints had a discussion about trading up to No. 1 before the Rams acquired the pick, Loomis said today that his club had “absolutely no conversations” with any teams at the top of the draft (Twitter link via Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune). “Another miss by that reporter,” Loomis added.

It’s not the first time Loomis has been dismissive of a Rapoport report — last January, he asserted that Rapoport “has about a 30% accuracy rate if you pay attention to things he puts out there.” As I wrote when Rapoport first tweeted about the Saints’ talks for the No. 1 pick, it’s not clear whether he was suggesting the team actually spoke to the Titans about a deal, or simply had an internal discussion about the idea of moving up. Either way though, Loomis’ comments today confirm that New Orleans never seriously considered the possibility at all.

Let’s round up a few more items from across the NFL’s South divisions…

  • Loomis did confirm today that the Saints were in the mix for Josh Norman before the standout cornerback ended up in Washington. “We made a strong offer,” the Saints GM said (Twitter link via Woodbery).
  • The Saints are considered likely to select a quarterback at some point in this draft, and Loomis didn’t dispute that notion, telling reporters that his team looks into QB prospects every year. “I don’t see [this year] as being dramatically different,” Loomis said (Twitter link via Woodbery).
  • While it remains to be seen which player the Falcons will draft in the first round, the team appears prepared to stand pat at No. 17, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who says the Falcons have no plans to trade down.
  • Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano had dinner with Illinois defensive lineman Jihad Ward last night, a source tells Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).
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