In a flurry of activity Friday night, the Saints moved quickly to fill two areas of need with a pair of third-round selections on the second night of the NFL draft.
With their third-round pick, the Saints grabbed Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead at No. 75 and just minutes later executed a pair of trades that enabled them to get Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins with the 82nd pick.
After selecting Armstead, the Saints, who didn’t have a selection in the second round, quickly went back to work and traded running back Chris Ivory to the New York Jets for a fourth-round pick (No. 106) in a deal that had been anticipated for the several days.
Then, General Manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton packaged the pick from the Jets with their own fourth-rounder (No. 109) to acquire the 82nd pick from the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m excited about tonight,” Payton said later. “We started the day with a list of seven or eight guys, and Armstead was at the top of the list. Then we were able to get ourselves a player (Jenkins) with presence and size.
“We wanted to become bigger and we had that opportunity,” Payton said of Jenkins, a 6-foot-4, 359-pounder who’ll get a chance to help shore up a defense that ranked last overall and was 31st against the run in 2012.
When the draft resumes at 11 a.m. Saturday, the Saints will have single picks in the fifth and sixth rounds at Nos. 144 and 183, respectively.
They won’t have selections in the fourth or seventh rounds as they sent their seventh-round choice to the Seattle Seahawks for middle linebacker Barrett Ruud during training camp last summer. Ruud was later released.