The New Orleans Saints drafted Tommy Stevens in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft after hearing of his intent to sign with Carolina.
Taysom Hill 2.0, Tommy Stevens, was a player the New Orleans Saints may not have wanted to draft.
While they may have wanted to sign him and bring him aboard given their success with Hill, the Saints didn’t have a pick after their last selection of Adam Trautman in the fourth round. Meaning, to snag Stevens, the Mississippi State signal-caller, they needed to trade back into the draft.
Stevens was likely already looking towards Carolina as his NFL home before the Saints traded back into the draft to select the young dual-threat QB.
“Letting Stevens go to a NFC South division rival wasn’t going to sit well with Payton, although the quarterback’s motivations made sense — he’d worked with Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady, then a graduate assistant, at Penn State, where Stevens had started his collegiate career,” columnist USA Today’s Chris Bumbaca wrote.
Without overly impressive numbers at the collegiate level, Stevens was primed to slip in the draft. He has the physicality to take over the Hill-like role if they decide to move on after his recently-signed two-year contract is done.
With the Panthers moving on from Cam Newton, it was clear that the team may have been looking to replicate some of that physicality. Also, their new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater just came from playing with Hill, leaving New Orleans for Carolina just a few months ago.
That said, head coach Sean Payton was adamant about finding a way to get Stevens to the Big Easy. That’s why he dealt a future pick to get back in the draft.
“It became my project. There’s no way I was going to lose this kid,” Payton said, according to ESPN.
Stevens stands 6-foot-5 and weighs around 235 pounds. He is a physical beast and should be capable of using his dual-threat ability as a receiver, tight end, or the traditional quarterback role he’s been groomed in.
It’s nice to see Payton going out and finding the intel that leads him to get the player he couldn’t wait any longer on.