Insider Reveals How the New Orleans Saints Almost Drafted Mac Jones

Published 05/05/2021, 11:26 PM EDT
Jan 28, 2021; Mobile, Alabama, USA; American quarterback Mac Jones of Alabama (10) drills during American practice at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports


The University of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones had a stellar season in 2020. The Florida-born athlete threw for 4,500 passing yards with 41 passing TDs against 4 interceptions. He came through the ranks in Tuscaloosa under the tutelage of Nick Saban.

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The 2-time CFP National Champion was a highly regarded prospect ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was being tipped for a potential move to the San Francisco 49ers who owned the 3rd overall pick.

However, GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan opted to move for NDSU’s Trey Lance instead. With Justin Fields joining Chicago Bears at 11, it was Bill Belichick-led New England Patriots who won the race for Jones’ signature.

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But there was another team that was also in the frame to draft the reigning national champion.

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New Orleans Saints were keen on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones

Not many were aware, but Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints also monitored Mac Jones all throughout the summer. The NFC South champions are on the lookout for a quarterback, especially after the retirement of the legendary Drew Brees.

The former Super Bowl-winner ended his long and distinguished career after a rather anti-climactic ending to his 2020 NFL campaign.

The Athletic NFL reporter, Jeff Howe, confirmed that coach Payton was ready to trade up to somewhere 10-14 in the 2021 NFL Draft in order to get their man. He further added that the Saints were in talks with Arizona Cardinals to acquire the 16th overall pick. But the Patriots got there just in time.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 15: Drew Brees #9 and Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints look on from the sideline during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 15, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Of course, Jameis Winston (former first-round pick) and Taysom Hill, are both leading contenders to succeed Drew in New Orleans. But Mac Jones presented a mouth-watering option to the Saints.

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The former Alabama Crimson Tide starter will now compete with 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton for a starting berth in New England. The youngster faces a tough road ahead in his bid to make a name for himself in the NFL. How do you think Mac will fare in his rookie year? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Daniel Arambur

1594 articles

Daniel Arambur is an NFL writer and content strategist for EssentiallySports.With more than 1,000 articles, he is one of the senior writers in the NFL cohort at ES. A mass media graduate from the University of Mumbai, Daniel has found the perfect blend of vocation and passion in the sports content niche.

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