The New Orleans Saints will have several coaches on the ground at the upcoming Senior Bowl, with passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry and offensive assistant D.J. Williams both tabbed to join the National Team coaching staff; Curry is the offensive coordinator, and Williams is the quarterback coach. That’s going to put them in close proximity with several quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL draft for a week of practices and classroom work, giving the Saints an early look at each of these promising passers.
And it’s an interesting group. All three National Team quarterbacks are listed at similar heights and weights in the 6-foot-1 and 200-pound range, though we’ll get a better idea of their athletic profiles once the Senior Bowl announces weigh-in results next week. Either way, unless something drastic appears they should pass the bar for New Orleans. The Saints have their prototypes but they aren’t about to pass on good players just because they’re a few pounds underweight. Let’s get to know each of them better:
Malik Cunningham, Louisville
Cunningham leaves Louisville as a redshirt senior with an impressive resume, having played in more than 50 games for the Cardinals (most of them as a starter) while throwing for 9,660 yards and scoring 70 touchdown passes while running for another 3,179 yards and 50 touchdown carries. Ball security has been an issue, though, with 29 interceptions and 19 career fumbles on his ledger. He’ll be looking to use the benefits of experience and show teams he’s more than an athlete at Senior Bowl practices. He’s currently projected to be a late-round draft pick.
Jake Haener, Fresno State
Haener doesn’t have as much experience at the college level, having only started the last two seasons and the COVID-19-abridged campaign in 2020, but he’s made the most of every minute he’s been on the field. He’s thrown for 9,120 yards and scored 68 touchdown passes against just 18 interceptions across 32 games, fumbling just 7 times. He’s also scored 8 touchdown runs but isn’t a rushing threat. He needs to prove the concerns about his size and durability are not warranted, but there’s no questioning his ability to throw accurately and aggressively with anticipation. He’s currently projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Jaren Hall, Brigham Young
Hall has had a lot of hype backing him up over the last year, and it’s easy to see why: he’s thrown for 6,174 yards and scored 52 touchdown passes in just 29 games at BYU, tacking on 800 rushing yards and scoring 9 times as a runner. And he doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way with just 11 interceptions and 8 fumbles in his career. But he’ll be a 25-year old rookie and there’s an injury history to navigate here, too. The latest projections have Hall being drafted in the fourth round but a strong spring could put those concerns to rest and help him be picked higher.