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Saints agree to terms with former Tulane WR Jalen McCleskey, per report

Saints add a speedy WR from Tulane

NCAA Football: Houston at Tulane Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have signed former Tulane wide receiver Jalen McCleskey. He most recently played for Tulane after spending four seasons at Oklahoma State. He had 37 receptions for 581 yards. His best season came in 2016 when he had 812 yards on 73 receptions with 7 touchdowns. McCleskey impressed with his 4.28 40 yard dash time, standing 5’11” he fits the mold of a speedy slot receiver, comparable to former Tulane WR Darnell Mooney.

Canal Street Chronicles caught up with McCleskey last offseason before the 2020 NFL draft. When asked about his blazing 40 time and what he can bring to an NFL team he said:

Whatever helps me make the team and whatever helps the team win. At the end of the day that’s all that matters, winning games. Going in there showing I can be a punt returner or a kick returner. And even though I may not have game film at gunner, at Oklahoma State and Tulane I had reps in practice. So going in there and showing them I can do that also.

McCleskey best shot to make the roster will be to find a home in the slot. When asked about who he tries to model his game after he said:

My favorite NFL receiver was Antonio Brown. I just like his work ethic, and how he works. He comes in there and gives it 100% every time. I have to go away with him because of his off-the-field issues and that’s not a path I would ever go down. But on the field, AB. I really look up to him because of how he worked. He is always in there. He’s a smaller receiver also, and had that mindset where everyone was saying “He’s too small...he can’t do this,” so I feel like we have that same mindset in that regard.

New Orleans is signing McCleskey, looking for a diamond in the rough. The Saints have a great resume signing UDFA skill positions, with previous successes like Pierre Thomas, Deonte Harris, and Marquez Callaway, to name a few. Expect the Saints to still try and bring in a few receivers via the 20201 NFL Draft or free agency. McCleskey may just be a camp body for now, but he and the Saints hope he ends up to be much more.

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