Greg Romeus wrapped up a fairly productive draft for the Panthers as he was the fifth Pitt player selected. Romeus had to wait quite a while, though, as he wasn't picked until near the middle of the draft's final round, going to the New Orleans Saints.
Romeus is the poster boy for the reason players leave school early - and his story is a perfect example of why I'll never say a player shouldn't be able to leave early to pursue an NFL career. A year ago, Romeus certainly would have been selected much higher. There was preseason All-American recognition and early season hype before the devastating injuries, which forced him to miss most of the season.
With the uncertainty in the NFL right now, Romeus was glad he didn't fall to free agency (man, who knows how that's going to work out, by the way):
"Just hearing your name and being drafted is such an accomplishment," Romeus said. "That was great. I know with everything that’s going on in free agency, it’s not looking good right now. It was definitely a great, great, great feeling just hearing my name."
So now the question - is Romeus healthy? Sounds like he's getting there...
The injuries might not cause him to miss any time once training camp begins. Romeus said his back "hasn’t been a concern since my surgery. That’s a non-factor." And his surgeon has told him that his knee should be ready by August.
"I’ve been running, doing explosive stuff," Romeus said. "My surgeon told me I’d be ready for camp. I’m just going to keep rehabbing it and be patient."
Call this bias (it's actually not), but I think that getting someone of Romeus' caliber this far down was a great pickup. The Saints didn't have a fourth, fifth, or sixth round pick (geez, what, are they still paying for that Ricky Williams pick?), so they really made the most of what they had with that pick, in my opinion. But don't just take my word for it - 'Steal' is being thrown out there quite a bit.
Romeus was one of many defensive players taken by the Saints. With guys like Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, and a ton of other receivers (I'm an expert on this as Brees was my fantasy QB last year), New Orleans figured it needed more help on the defensive side of the ball.