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Why the Saints drafted WR A.T. Perry

For the 3rd time on Day 3, the Saints traded up and this time selected A.T. Perry.

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints make yet another splash in day three of the NFL Draft, trading up for A.T Perry out of Wake Forest.

The Saints sent Adam Trautman and their 257th pick the Sean Payton and the Broncos in exchange for pick 195.

Coming into the 2023 NFL Draft, many people had a third-round grade on Perry. Snagging the 6’3, 198-pound receiver in the sixth round might just be the steal of the draft.

As a two-year starter at Wake Forest, Perry eclipsed 1,000 yards both years with 1,293 in 2021 and 1,096 in 2022 and averaged 15.6 YPR in his career. He also put up 15 touchdowns in 2021 and 11 in 2022.

Perry is long and super athletic. At 6’3, he runs a 4.47 40-yard dash with a 1.5 10-yard split. In addition to an 83-inch wingspan, Perry logged a 35-inch vertical. The All-ACC selection gives the Saints a big, bodied receiver who can stretch the field to pair with Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Rasheed Shahid.

With Thomas’s injury history, getting a top receiver was always a priority for the Saints this offseason. Through the first five rounds, it didn’t look like the Saints were going to find a wideout in this year's draft, but after trading with the Broncos, the Saints got their guy.

Personally, I would’ve been fine with the Saints drafting Perry as early as the fourth round, so getting him this late was yet another amazing pick by Mickey Loomis in this draft. Perry gives the Saints a plethora of receiving threats if Thomas can stay healthy, and on a sixth-round salary, you can’t beat the deal they’re getting on him.

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