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2018 NFL Draft prospects: we want to be Saints

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A fifth of players polled at the Senior Bowl want to play for New Orleans, per NFL.com.

ORLANDO, FL:  New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs out of the tunnel during player introductions for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
ORLANDO, FL: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs out of the tunnel during player introductions for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We’re two weeks from the NFL Scouting Combine and a month away from free agency, so here’s a fun story to help the time pass faster: as he does every year, NFL.com draft and college football analyst Chase Goodbread polled twenty draft prospects at last month’s Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL about various topics. When asked which NFL team was their favorite, twenty percent of respondents answered the New Orleans Saints.

You can find the full poll results by following this link.

Those votes (four) led the results, with four other teams netting two votes each: the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and Miami Dolphins. The Atlanta Falcons led last year’s group with seven votes, but failed to earn a single call after choking away a historic 25-point lead in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. Sad!

Another cool bit in this vein was former Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Marcell Ateman rocking a Saints beanie at the annual Meet-the-Players event. It’s rare for players to openly rep a potential future employer:

Naturally, draft prospects can play favorites and hope to land with any team they choose. But the decision of where they’ll start their careers is largely out of their hands, despite Myles Garrett’s maybe-half-joking plea last year to avoid the Cleveland Browns and join his hometown Cowboys.

But after the record-setting success of the recent Saints rookie class - including a sweep of rookies of the year voting between second-team All-Pro Alvin Kamara (who overcame not starting) and Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore (who overcame a paltry Pro-Football-Reference.com AV rating of just eight) - can you blame future pros for wanting to join them?