Andy Alleman became antsy as soon as Dallas and New Orleans traded out of the second round.
The former Zips guard had visited both teams in the past few weeks. Their hospitality made Alleman believe they were two of his most likely suitors.
"There was a lot of tension in the room," Alleman said.
As the third round progressed, Alleman became more and more worried he could plummet to the fourth round.
At about 10:45, a New Orleans coach called Alleman to tell him the news. He would be the Saints' pick at No. 88 overall.
"To hear my name was a big relief," Alleman said. "It feels great."
As one might expect, the Alleman household became flooded with tears.
"I broke down when they called," he said. "It was very emotional."
Within minutes after ESPN announced the pick, Alleman's phone went berserk with about 17 text messages, he estimated.
"It was frantic," Alleman said. "It was a bit of a blur."
Alleman will report to rookie camp in two weeks. Knowing the time between the draft and camp would be hectic, he bought a new car ahead of time. I think he said it was a Lexus, making Alleman one of the league's few linemen not driving a truck or SUV.
It might be a blessing that the Saints don't expect Alleman to start right away. They have solid starters in Jamal Nesbit and Jahri Evans. It should give the former Zip time to acclimate himself to the NFL before Nesbit hits free agency next season.
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