Thursday, April 29, 2010

Saints Nation: Getting to Know Saints' Undrafted Rookie Free Agent Rafael Priest

Saints' new rookie undrafted free agent Rafael Priest of TCU was kind enough to stop by Saints Nation and tell us a little bit about himself. I've got a few of these lined up so you can look forward to these in the coming days. Many thanks to Rafael for taking the time. He seems like a hard worker, a class act, and a player with potential. Best of luck to him!

Saints Nation: Welcome to the Saints and thanks for doing this! Can you tell me about the draft? Did you expect to get drafted and were you told you might go by a certain round?

Rafael Priest: I expected to get drafted in the late rounds and only the late rounds because I suffered a foot injury before we played in the Fiesta Bowl. So with that injury I didn't get to run a 40 time on my pro day, and the injury scared teams off. During the season I was projected to be a 4th-5th round pick.

SN: I'm sure not getting drafted was a disappointment, especially with your success prior to the injury, but talk about the process afterward and how you feel about joining the Saints?

RP: After the draft I was disappointed but I was very fortunate to join the world champion Saints!

SN: Who is the toughest player you've gone up against during your college career?

RP: Throughout my career at TCU I have faced plenty of great receivers and many of them are NFL starters/contributors. So for me to pin-point 1 particular receiver would be very tough!

SN: So do you know anyone on the Saints or have any ties with the team, or will you be going in completely blind?

RP: No I don't know anyone or have any ties with the Saints organization. Other than I played with David Roach who's currently a safety for the Rams, he started his career off with the Saints a couple of years ago.

SN: I saw you had a streak of 47 consecutive games started in college, is that right? That's a ridiculous stat. What else should Saints fans know about you as a player?

RP: Yea that's correct, I started every year I was at TCU. I always play like I'm the underdog. I'm only about 5'10 but when I play you would never know. I started the season ranked as 6th best cornerback in the nation. I was also a 3rd team All-American on a couple of lists. My stats weren't that good this year because I didn't get much action on my side!

SN: What do you know about the Saints cornerback situation going in? It's crowded with depth so do you see it as an uphill battle making the team?

RP: I know its pretty stacked, but I also know a lot of corners got hurt this past season and they gave free agents opportunities. I have the mindset that I am a draft pick that slipped to free agency because of my prior injury that I'm now healthy from. Its gonna be a challenge, but I'm ready.