(NEW ORLEANS SAINTS) – New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Sunday that 13 undrafted rookie free agents have agreed to terms with the team following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Joining the Saints will be quarterback Ryan Griffin, linebackers Eric Martin, Kevin Reddick, Rayford Shipman and Chase Thomas, defensive end Glenn Foster, tight ends Josh Hill and Keavon Milton, running back Shawne Alston, cornerbacks Ryan Lacy and Rod Sweeting, center Elliot Mealer and guard Tim Lelito.
The following is an outline of the 13 players who – along with the club’s five draft choices and other tryout players – will be coming to New Orleans to participate in the team’s rookie minicamp, scheduled to take place May 10-12.Shawne Alston – Running Back, West Virginia (5-11, 236): Alston played four seasons for the Mountaineers, serving as a short yardage and goal line specialist. Playing in 37 career contests, he rushed 234 times for 1,068 yards (4.6 avg.) with 19 touchdowns and also registered six receptions for 14 yards. As a senior, Alston carried 75 times for 386 yards (5.1 avg.) and seven touchdowns in seven contests. Glenn Foster – Defensive End, Illinois (6-4, 285): The Chicago native was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for the Illini, posting 73 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks and an interception. As a senior in 2012, he started all 12 games at defensive tackle, totaling 31 tackles, 5.5 stops for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Ryan Griffin – Quarterback, Tulane (6-5, 206): Griffin was a four-year starter for the Green Wave who appeared in 42 games with 39 starts, completing 836-of-1,396 passes for 9,026 yards, 79 touchdowns and 35 interceptions. The Westlake Village, Calif. native set Tulane career marks in attempts, completions, and completion percentage, finishing ranked second in passing yards, passing yards per game (214.9), attempts per game, completions per game, and 300-yard passing games (10). As a senior, Griffin started all nine games he played in and was named honorable-mention All-Conference USA after leading the team in total offense (2,644), attempts (394), completions (245), yardage (2,771), touchdowns (20) and passing efficiency (132.43), ranking second in the conference in passing yards per game (307.9). The Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game MVP completed 14-of-18 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns in the contest. Josh Hill – Tight End, Idaho State (6-5, 229): Hill started all 11 games he played in as a senior and finished ranked second on the team in receptions as he hauled in 70 passes for 630 yards and five touchdowns while being named to the second team All-Big Sky and the Big Sky All-Academic team. The Blackfoot, Id. native collected 143 receptions for 1,270 yards and nine touchdowns in his career at Idaho State. Ryan Lacy – Cornerback, Utah (5-9, 186): Lacy was a two-year starter for the Utes, posting career totals of 80 tackles, one sack, four stops for a loss, five interceptions, 16 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. As a senior, he posted 22 tackles, two picks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for a touchdown. As a junior, he earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 as he made 51 tackles, two picks and 10 passes defensed. Tim Lelito – Guard, Grand Valley State (6-4, 315): Lelito started 45 consecutive games for Grand Valley State and was a two-time First-Team All-GLIAC selection. The St. Clair, Mich. native helped the Laker offense rank second in total offense (474.4) and scoring offense (41.9) last season while he was named the GLIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year. Eric Martin – Linebacker, Nebraska (6-2, 250): Martin, who will compete at linebacker in the Saints’ 3-4 alignment, moved into the starting lineup for the Cornhuskers as a senior at defensive end in 2012 and led the team with 8.5 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors by writers and the Big Ten Network. Elliot Mealer – Center, Michigan (6-5, 308): Mealer appeared in 50 career contests for Michigan along the offensive line and on special teams. The Wauseon, Ohio native started all 13 games at center for the Wolverines as a redshirt senior in 2012. Keavon Milton – Tight End, Louisiana-Monroe (6-4, 293): The Canton, Texas, native appeared in 45 career games for the Warhawks and totaled 220 receiving yards on 25 receptions with four touchdowns. Milton appeared in all 13 games as a senior and finished with career-highs in receptions (14) and receiving yards (146) as he helped lead his team to an Advocare Independence Bowl appearance. Kevin Reddick – Linebacker, North Carolina (6-1, 246): In four seasons with the Tar Heels, appearing in 50 games with 43 starts at middle linebacker, the New Bern, N.C. native posted career totals of 275 tackles, 36 stops for a loss, 8.5 sacks, two interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As a senior, the All-ACC selection by league coaches paced UNC with 85 tackles, 6.5 sacks, a league-best 18.5 stops for a loss, two forced fumbles and six passes defensed. Rayford Shipman – Linebacker, Central Florida (6-5, 242): Shipman played in 22 games for Central Florida and recorded 126 tackles (56 solo), eight tackles for a loss of 15 yards, four passes defensed and one interception after transferring from Florida where he played guard for the Gators basketball team. The Miramar, Fla. native started 12 games as a redshirt senior and amassed 91 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss while being voted onto the Conference USA All-Academic Team. Rod Sweeting – Cornerback, Georgia Tech (6-0, 187): Sweeting, whose 54 games played in his career tied for first in Ramblin Wreck history, was a two-year starter at cornerback and posted career totals of 160 tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 24 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. As a senior in 2012, he posted 58 tackles, six tackles for a loss, a sack, an interception, seven passes defensed and one fumble recovery, his pick coming against Florida State QB E.J. Manuel in the ACC Championship game. Chase Thomas – Linebacker, Stanford (6-3, 241): Thomas appeared in 52 games with 47 starts at both defensive end and outside linebacker at Stanford, finishing with 229 tackles, 27.5 sacks, 50.5 stops for a loss, two interceptions, nine forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. An All-Pac 12 Conference first-team choice as a senior by league coaches and media, the Marietta, Ga. native finished second on the team with 71 tackles, tied for second with 14.5 stops for a loss and filled up the stat sheet with 7.5 sacks, one interception, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.