WATCH: Sean Payton discusses Saints 2021 draft class


NEW ORLEANS What did you guys like about Ian book?
“Yeah, so look, we spent a lot of time with him. The first thing you see is a guy that has won a lot of games. He’s someone that I think is a good foot athlete. (A) Real good competitor, we liked a lot. He’s played in big games, played at a high level so we felt like it was it was right at the right time in the draft that would be good for us and we’re glad he was there.”

I think all of our eyebrows were raised a little when you made a comment about Ian book on the Dan Patrick show a month ago. Was that you leaving breadcrumbs or does he really remind you of some of your game from when you were in high school and college?
“Listen I read that, I can’t remember even making that comment. He doesn’t remind me of me. I wouldn’t have drafted me. So he’s done a great job at Notre Dame. We’ve seen a lot of his tape, obviously and watched a lot of film on him. Dan (Patrick) had to bring his name up because at that time, generally the host is kind of moving the direction of an interview. But no, it would have been so hard to even project where we were this weekend from that interview.”

You guys obviously always looked at quarterbacks and probably would have taken the right one in the fourth round in any year over the last 16 years. But was there more interest in like you say you’re in the quarterback business? Was there more interest in getting the young one in the building? Just to see what you’ve got now after Drew Brees retires?
“Relative to the position and I say this because it’s a position that’s played later with a lot of guys in their career. There are a lot of young guys that play, I think Trevor’s (Siemian) a young quarterback prospect, although he’s been in our league. So I don’t think we treated this year differently because Drew had retired. I really believe that we had a real good grade on a player that matched right where we were in the process and it fit and look I think going back in the last 15 drafts, there are times that we have had a good grade on quarterbacks that it just did not work out. So in this case, it did.”

Are there some similarities between Ian Books athleticism, and what he can bring to the table from both a quarterback standpoint, similar to Taysom Hill?
“Yeah, I can’t say that. It’s in fairness to Ian (Book) it’s hard to say that, you know, because to appreciate Taysom is really to be here and he’s a 238-pound player that does things that are unique and to heal his skill set. So I think that would be a hard jump or leap, if you will. In fact, I know it would be. So that wasn’t the vision when we selected the player. But we saw someone who was accurate, who threw the ball on time, who led his team to a lot of wins. He’s been successful. We saw someone who was very competitive and so those were some important things that we valued. But it wasn’t the vision that maybe what has become some of the things that Taysom does.”

Do you feel the league has transitioned to the more athletic quarterbacks now?
“Well, look, I think that you can only draft or sign what the college game has given you and so there has that changed? I think the answer would be yes and yet. I think the attributes that we’re looking for, relative to that position having and so it helps if they can process information, it helps if they’ve got some of those intangibles that you look for and then also the physical traits. Are they accurate? Are they competitive? Do you feel like they take care of the football? So I think that over the last 15 years, the game to some degree has changed in how we see college players playing. But you’re still applying what are key things to each position, key traits that you that you must have. And so those types of things went into this decision.”

{Transcript courtesy of the New Orleans Saints}

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