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Saints get to work on Day 2

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METAIRIE — The New Orleans Saints added a ball-hawking safety and surprisingly traded up to take a running back during the second day of the NFL draft.

The Saints also acquired a pass-rusher for a defense that ranked near the bottom in sacks last season — albeit at the end of the third round, and with their sixth pick overall.

New Orleans used their second-round pick on Utah safety Marcus Williams, who has intercepted 10 passes over his last two seasons. The Saints then traded a 2018 second-round pick and this year’s seventh rounder to San Francisco so they could draft Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara early in the third round.

The trade increased the number of Saints third-round picks to three. With their final two picks of the round, they added versatile Florida linebacker Alex Anzalone and Florida Atlantic defensive end Trey Hendrickson.

The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Williams, picked 42nd overall on Friday night, intercepted five passes in 11 games last season and also had five interceptions in 2015, when he was selected first-team All-Pac-12.

Williams was the second defensive back taken in the Saints’ first three picks as New Orleans sought to strengthen a defense that ranked last in the NFL in yards passing allowed. A night earlier, the Saints used their top pick, the 11th overall, to take Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Williams described himself as a confident player and sounded like one when describing his game.

“I’m able to get sideline to sideline. I’m that guy that wants to take the ball away regardless of where I’m at and I can make tackles,” Williams said.

Williams impressed scouts with his 43½-inch vertical leap, tied from the second highest of any prospect at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, and only a half-inch lower than the highest leap.

He played basketball in high school in the Los Angeles area.

“I dunked on a couple people,” he said.


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