Despite having just five picks in the 2012 NFL Draft and no selections until the end of the third round, New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said he was confident his team would be able to bring in a talented class of rookies.
The Saints gave up this year's first-round pick to move up to select running back Mark Ingram in 2011. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stripped them of their second-round pick this year for organizational involvement in a "bounty" program, in which players were rewarded with cash for injuring opponents.
Loomis said the Saints would not look to trade into the first two rounds, but the team might consider trading down to acquire more picks.
"We've traded picks away before," Loomis told The Times-Picayune. "I don't recall off the top of my head a year where we didn't have a first- or second-round pick, but look, that has happened before to teams. And we still have five picks -- third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. So that's five players we can bring in here to help contribute to our team. So we've got to do a great job with those five picks and sign some college free agents after the draft that can help us.
"And look, I think we get more focused, not less, when you're short at the top of the draft. Because we have to do a good job, and we will do a good job with those mid-round and late-round picks because we have done that in the past."
Loomis refused to discuss quarterback Drew Brees' ongoing negotiations for a long-term deal, saying only that the Saints were "up against" the salary cap. Brees reportedly will not show up to the start of the Saints' offseason workout program Monday without a contract.
"Yeah, again, I'm not going to comment on any of that -- about the progress or how I feel about it or how he feels about it," Loomis said. "That's up to him to make those comments."
Loomis' eight-game suspension for his part in the "bounty" program begins Monday, but he did not want to delve into the Saints' penalties, which include a season-long suspension for coach Sean Payton.
"We're focused and thinking only about the things we can control," he said. "That's not something we can. They've made their decision, and we've got to live with it and move on. That's the best thing we can do."