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Why the Saints drafted S Jordan Howden

With their fifth pick in the NFL Draft, the Saints dipped into the secondary.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Minnesota at Michigan State

With their third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected Jordan Howden, Safety out of Minnesota.

Howden is a five year player in college and he was very productive at Minnesota. He started in 49 games in his career, and played in 10+ games in four of his five seasons. In all four seasons that he played double digit games, he recorded 40+ tackles, including 58 this past season.

Howden’s experience is his greatest weapon. He saw 2,796 career snaps in three different spots on the field - 912 at free safety, 597 in the box and just under half his career snaps came in the nickel. He can come in and fill the role CJ Gardner-Johnson played in his time in the black and gold.

Howden can fly around the field, running a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash while boasting a 39.5 inch vertical. Although he’s a little undersized at the position, coming in at 5’11, 203, he is an elite athlete, scoring a 8.88 RAS score.

The Saints knew they needed some help in the secondary, primarily at the nickel corner spot. Howden’s versatility and experience as both a safety and nickel corner makes him a great addition for this Saints team.

His small stature could lead to a few missed tackles and an inability to shed blockers downfield. He has great play recognition and with some time to bulk up and learn from the veterans the Saints have in the secondary, he could become a big time playmaker for the Saints.

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