The Saints selected Rutgers safety of Saquan Hampton with their sixth round pick in the NFL Draft.
Hampton recorded 64 tackles and three interceptions as a senior at Rutgers.
Hampton is the second safety the Saints drafted on Saturday. They chose Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round.
“I think it will be great competition, coming in and competing,” Hampton said. “It’s something I love to do, something I’ve done my whole life. It will be a great opportunity to bind with the class that’s coming in.”
He also can help the Saints on special teams.
“Special team is always emphasized at Rutgers,” Kampton said. “When the Saints came in (for my workout), it’s something they emphasized as well. It’s something I started on all four years at Rutgers, so it would be an honor to play on special teams. “
The Saints first pick in the draft was offensive lineman Erik McCoy of Texas A&M in the second round .
The Saints have two more draft picks in the seventh round.
Hampton has never visited New Orleans or Louisiana, but says he looks forward to the opportunity.
Like most collegiate football players, Saquan Hampton said he’s dreamed of playing in the NFL since he donning his first helmet.
That dream started on a Pop Warner field in Mercer County, continued at Nottingham High School and Rutgers University, and will come to fruition in New Orleans.
Hampton, a 6-1, 206-pound safety from Hamilton Township, was picked Saturday by the Saints in the 6th round of the NFL Draft.
Rutgers has now had 62 players selected in the NFL Draft dating back to 1940, including 13 selections in the NFL Draft over the last seven years.
“Ever since I started playing football I knew the NFL ultimately was the goal,’’ Hampton told NJ Advance Media in a recent interview. “It feels good to be in the position where it’s going to come true. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point, and there’s a lot more to go.’’
An honorable mention All-Big Ten pick who tied for the conference lead and ranked 11th nationally with 16 passes defended (13 breakups, 3 interceptions) last season, Hampton was the recipient of the Rutgers football team’s Homer Hazel Award, giving to the team MVP.
Hampton was invited to the NFL Combine, where he produced a time of 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash and earned a 5.29 grade
“In my opinion of the defensive backs I’ve been around, he’s an NFL player,’’ Rutgers coach Chris Ash said. “He’s got size. He’s got speed. He can play the game. He’s got football intelligence and he’s going to make some team happy. He worked extremely hard over the last three years. (He) had some set backs with injuries but had a great senior year and just kept working and grinding and believing in the process. I’m excited to see what his future holds.”
The New Orleans Saints finally stood pat and used one of their original selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, adding Rutgers safety Saquan Hampton. Hampton (6-foot-1, 206 pounds) broke out in his 2018 senior year with three interceptions and 13 pass deflections. He has 167 tackles (115 solo) in his career for the Scarlet Knights.
Hampton did not finish all of the athletic testing at the combine, but his time in the 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) is impressive for someone of his size. Like earlier Saints draft pick Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, he is someone likely to make their mark on special teams.
It seems the Saints are looking to add more depth at safety; going into the draft, they only had four players rostered at the position between starters Vonn Bell and Marcus Williams, special teams ace Chris Banjo, and reserve J.T. Gray. The additions of Hampton and Gardner-Johnson should introduce some badly-needed competition once training camp rolls around.
—Ideal height, weight and speed for the NFL (6’1″, 206 pounds, 4.48-second 40-yard dash); checks every box from a size and speed standpoint.
—Team captain and excellent leader on and off the field.
—Was able to play single-high and box safety while also playing slot cornerback.
—Plays the ball at all opportunities with strips, pass breakups and interceptions.
—Injuries to both shoulders in college are a major red flag for a tackler.
—Not a punishing tackler at the finish and looks timid at the point of attack.
—Gets thrown off pursuit angles and eaten up by simple stalk blocks.
A well-above-average 40 time had us going back to the tape, but we never saw his speed in coverage or when coming downhill to make a tackle. In fact, too many times Hampton let ball-carriers get into him first. His versatility in the secondary will give him the chance to find a role in the NFL and stick with it, though. Especially with his ability to find and make a play on the ball.