Kawaan Baker the Touchdown Maker | Saints Draft Series Part 6

Kawaan Baker, an explosive WR from fledgling football program South Alabama, concludes our New Orleans Saints draft series.

Rachel Jones sits down with JT Crabtree, the voice of the Jaguars, on a new episode of Black and Gold Rush to discuss Baker (or “KB”) the person and the player whom the Saints chose in the seventh round, just three spots behind where they selected legendary WR Marques Colston 15 years ago.

Baker stole the show at South Alabama’s Pro Day with a 4.41 second 40-time and impressive vertical leap and broad jumps, and he became the first Jaguar ever drafted by the Saints in South Alabama’s 13-year football history.

Known as Kawaan Baker the Touchdown Maker, Rachel and JT explore the Atlanta native’s route to the final roster, his quiet demeanor off the field, and much more.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: New episodes of Black and Gold Rush return June 21, 2021!

TOP 3 TWEETABLE QUOTES:

  • (7:54) “He really opened some eyes late in the game, and I think that’s what got him the 255 spot with the Saints. I know he’s thrilled to have just an opportunity to show what he can do.”
  • (9:54) “I cannot think of a better spot for Kawaan to land, not just being local, but also I really think he fits into that Saints offense that uses so many different weapons and utilizes them in so many different ways.”
  • (11:21) “I don’t really remember him posting anything or saying anything pro-Falcons, so I think it’s a pretty easy change for him … you will never see him wearing black, white and red at the same time ever.”
  • (23:10) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

JT Crabtree Twitter

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 1 – Payton Turner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 2 – Pete Werner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 3 – Paulson Adebo

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 4 – Ian Book

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 5 – Landon Young

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Landon Young Leaves Places Better Than He Found Them | Saints Draft Series Part 5

No one outworks Landon Young. In football or in life.

On this episode of Black and Gold Rush, you’ll hear from University of Kentucky grad assistant coach Ryan Finck, who took over much of the offensive line coaching duties when longtime Wildcats O-line coach John Schlarman passed away in November 2020.

Finck describes how Young led the “Big Blue Wall” as a team captain and left a legacy at Kentucky.

Tune in FRIDAY for the finale of the Saints draft series – all about Saints seventh-round pick Kawaan Baker with South Alabama’s own JT Crabtree!

TOP 3 TWEETABLE QUOTES:

  • (1:27) “He is everything that is the state of Kentucky, Landon is the perfect example.”

  • (2:54) “You could walk down this hallway right here, and every coach is going to have something different, something new, and something wonderful to say about Landon Young.”

  • (12:07) “Landon, I think, has a chance to come in and be a guy who plays the right tackle position. When he came back after training for his pro day, he looked like a million bucks, and he said he’d been doing a lot on the right side because he knows all his reps were on the left.”

  • (17:57) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Ryan Finck Twitter

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 1 – Payton Turner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 2 – Pete Werner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 3 – Paulson Adebo

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 4 – Ian Book

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Ian Book – Future Starting QB or Long-Term Backup? | Saints Draft Series Part 4

Be honest. We’re not 100% sure whether the New Orleans Saints will start Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill at quarterback in 2021.

Sean Payton also could install a package for the Saints fourth-round draft pick, Notre Dame QB Ian Book. On a new episode of Black and Gold Rush, Notre Dame football reporter Tyler James is here to break down how Ian Book won the starting job at Notre Dame and why some people insist on calling him “deceptively athletic.”

Many in Notre Dame circles believe landing with the Saints will give Ian Book time to learn the offense, but what is his NFL future? Can he be a starter one day, or is he a long-term backup?

Tune in MONDAY for Part 5 of the Saints draft series – all about Saints sixth-round pick Landon Young with Kentucky grad assistant coach Ryan Finck!

TOP 3 TWEETABLE QUOTES:

  • (7:15) “Certainly Ian Book has been a guy since his high school playing days who has been doubted a little bit.”

  • (11:25) “He will be willing and certainly prepared to handle a quarterback competition in whatever sort of opportunities and pecking order the Saints put him in.”

  • (15:30) “I think it is a good situation whether or not he plays at all in his rookie year or just sort of waits in the wing and learns what he needs to learn at the NFL level and prepares himself to have a sustainable career, whether that’s as a starter or as a long-term backup.” 

  • (21:42) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Tyler James Twitter

NDInsider.com

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 1 – Payton Turner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 2 – Pete Werner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 3 – Paulson Adebo

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Why CB Paulson Adebo Should Intrigue You | Saints Draft Series Part 3

Former Stanford cornerback and Saints third-round draft pick Paulson Adebo lets his play speak for itself. He’s no quote machine, just shy and straightforward, but very well-respected by teammates and coaches.

On a new episode of Black and Gold Rush, longtime Stanford radio broadcaster and Pac-12 Network reporter Troy Clardy is here to discuss how Adebo can impact the New Orleans Saints’ secondary. Get ready for a crash course in the Cardinal football brand too!

Tune in FRIDAY for Part 4 of the Saints draft series – all about Saints fourth-round pick Ian Book with South Bend Tribune reporter Tyler James!

TOP 3 TWEETABLE QUOTES:

  • (5:36) “The physical, the tangibles, the measurables are the one thing that certainly give you the first impression about Paulson Adebo … but don’t forget the ball skills and don’t forget the recovery speed as well.”

  • (7:18) “Some numbers that you might not necessarily be aware of and numbers that might not necessarily show up are his ability to show up in big games.”

  • (13:25) “Stanford guys have a bit of a brand as being a bit more readily made to handle some of the rigors you might face in the NFL on and off the field. I’m looking forward to seeing how Paulson can apply some of those with the Saints in the future.”

  • (22:22) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Troy Clardy Twitter

The TreeCast with Troy Clardy

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 1 – Payton Turner

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 2 – Pete Werner

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Is Pete Werner the Saints’ Next Ohio State Success? | Saints Draft Series Part 2

We’ve all heard the line how the New Orleans Saints must have a satellite office at Ohio State. Linebacker Pete Werner is the fourth Buckeye New Orleans has drafted since 2016.

What skills and personality does the Saints’ second-round pick bring to the table?

Host Rachel Jones asked Pete Werner’s high school coach, Rick Streiff. He said Werner’s ability to run and move, along with his intelligence & football savvy, will make him an excellent addition.  In other words, he’s got the “it” factor.

Tune in MONDAY for Part 3 of the Saints draft series – all about Saints third-round pick Paulson Adebo with Stanford/Pac-12 reporter Troy Clardy!

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (6:05) “He’s a young man who always kept his nose to the grindstone.”

  • (7:15) “Really quiet, fly-under-the-radar kind of guy – you have to kind of pull teeth sometimes to get words of out him. But once on the field, he just plays so hard.”

  • (9:23) “He’s seen it all, between his high school experience and then obviously at Ohio State, they play the best of the best.”

  • (10:38) “He even played a little bit of cornerback for us in high school when we played some heavy run teams, we would put him on the tight end side into the boundary, and it was a thing of beauty.”

  • (11:33) “If you go back and watch the Ohio State films, they played him all over the place and it was because of those two things – his ability to run and his ability to grasp the scheme and understand what his responsibilities are.”
  • (15:37) “I watched Sean Payton sling it around as a high schooler … talk about a guy that had football savvy.”
  • (17:35) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Saints Draft Pick Series Part 1 – Payton Turner

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Doubt Payton Turner At Your Own Risk | Saints Draft Series Part 1

We kick off our series on the New Orleans Saints’ 2021 draft picks spotlighting former Houston DE Payton Turner. 

Cougars radio broadcaster Jeremy Branham (UH Learfield IMG) explains how he’s shined under different coaching staffs and schemes at Houston, why being a multi-sport athlete is so valuable for the first-round pick, why Turner’s best football remains in front of him, and much more.

Branham has a unique viewpoint covering the Cougars from the sidelines – you’ll hear in the Random Round his most memorable moment covering Turner, the one skill he needs to improve most, and Branham’s message for the rookie as he arrives in New Orleans.

A new episode is coming FRIDAY featuring Saints second-round pick Pete Werner’s high school coach Rick Streiff from Cathedral in Indianapolis!

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (4:45) “His stock was roaring up before the start of the draft. When the season ended, was probably considered a 3rd or 4th rounder, and then when people started to watch more film on him and look at all his pro day stuff was when his stock really started climbing.”

  • (7:36) “It wasn’t a matter of can he play in the league or would he go in the first, to me it was just find him a good landing spot where the coaches will put him in a spot to excel and succeed. And now that he is a first-rounder, really the Saints have no choice right, because you have to protect your investment. He’s a kid that deserves everything he gets. I’m really excited for Payton Turner.” 

  • (8:46) “That’s the biggest intangible – how much he really enjoys playing.”

  • (12:20) “Not only is he big, but he covers a lot of ground left arm to right arm. But he also has a burst of quickness that allows him to get into the backfield.”

  • (14:33) “The first two years of Payton Turner’s career he was in a 3-4, and then when Dana Holgorsen came in he kinda changed it to a 4-2-5. It was a 4-3 base, but they ran a lot of 4-2-5 out of it, and he excelled with that defense.”
  • (15:40) “I think he’s going to be more of an edge guy with the ability to move in on pass rushing situations.”
  • (17:10) “That’s one thing I would add about Payton Turner – his best football is far from him.”
  • (19:10) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Jeremy Branham Twitter

Coogs’ Corner Podcast

Houston Athletics on iHeartMedia

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

Unpacking New Orleans Saints’ 2021 Draft with Mike Detillier

The New Orleans Saints selected DE Payton Turner, LB Pete Werner, CB Paulson Adebo, QB Ian Book, OT Landon Young and WR Kawaan Baker in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Analyst Mike Detillier joins host Rachel Jones to take you inside the Saints’ draft blueprint for intelligent and instinctive players on this week’s episode of Black and Gold Rush.

Detillier, an engineer by trade, discusses how each player’s skills will translate to the NFL and describes the process behind his annual draft report that he’s published for 36 years.

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes that will highlight each of the six newest Saints individually!

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (8:40) “Buddy Diliberto had the best line for me – ‘Don’t ever be afraid to be wrong, Mike.'”

  • (10:27) “I’m old enough now to have a little granddaughter, and she tells me, ‘Pop, you still working on that book?’ So you know you put some hours in when the little granddaughter tells you that. I would say out of 365 days a year, I work on it about 350.”

  • (11:46) “That’s the biggest misconception about the draft, that everybody has the same thoughts. All 32 teams have different thoughts.”

  • (13:01) on Payton Turner – “surprised me … why I dropped him was he was never dominant in that conference, and secondly is the most important thing, injuries. They may kick him inside to defensive tackle. I just hope he can stay healthy.”

  • (17:37) on Ian Book “mental makeup, toughness … (Sean Payton) being a quarterback understands about a guy being tough, being a leader, and being a winner … he’s gonna come up with a package to get Ian Book involved.”
  • (24:10) on Pete Werner “He’s good against the run, he’s good in pass coverage, he runs the field well, he’s a good open field tackler, and he makes it up with the intangibles. He understands this game at another level … in year 2, he’ll probably be a starter for this football team.”
  • (27:06) on Paulson Adebo “He’s got the best shot of all the rookies to see what I would call significant playing time because the Saints are paper thin at cornerback … He needs a little bit of work technically, but when the ball is in the air, he thinks it’s his.”
  • (30:32) on Landon Young “Landon was probably one of the top 3 tackle prospects in the country when he came out of [high school] … They don’t throw the ball much at Kentucky, so you know right off the bat what he’s gonna have to work on – pass blocking. I don’t think he’s an inside player.”
  • (33:42) on Kawaan Baker “He has a tendency to catch the ball up against his body. I don’t think he gets picked without that pro day. I think his pro day got him picked.”
  • (36:30) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Mike Detillier Twitter

MikeDetillier.com

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

2021 New Orleans Saints Draft Special with Maddy Hudak [Podcast]

NFL Draft Weekend is officially here, and if you’re like me, it feels like Christmas.

Don’t miss a special New Orleans Saints Draft episode of Black and Gold Rush. Host Rachel Jones and The Saints Wire’s Maddy Hudak take one more look at the Saints’ top positions of need on offense and defense and analyze the increasing possibility of the Saints trading up from No. 28.

After all, they have eight draft picks to work with. What kind of players are the Saints looking for in 2021?

Maddy Hudak is originally from San Mateo, CA, but her mom is from New Orleans, and Maddy remembers first seeing the magic of the Saints when they came to volunteer after Hurricane Katrina.

You’ll also hear her unique career story – from psychology to legal studies to sports writing.

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (4:55) “My dad was my soccer coach, and he’s really interested in the mental side of things, the football IQ side of football. We’re both very analytical in that way, so I found that was a good thing to discuss with my dad, being that there were no sons in the family.”

  • (6:42) “If nothing else, I would l like to serve as a tale of A) it’s never too late to change your mind on what you want to do and B) if you think you have an idea of what the five years out of your college experience are going to look like, please don’t have that set in stone.”

  • (10:48) “The more that you do mock drafts, one thing I’ve learned is don’t pigeonhole yourself on one player.”

  • (12:02) “While the Saints normally don’t draft based on need, the pandemic has put everyone in an unprecedented situation where there’s no real ability to retain key talent at positions of need. So their two big positions of need are cornerback and linebacker.”

  • (15:18) “If you’re a Saints fan, you have to know the Saints do not ever have a set place that they are picking.”
  • (19:59) “To have eight picks, with a lot of them in the 3rd or 4th round – those are actually picks that people would be interested in getting – that’s just so much capital to work with.”
  • (23:07) “What sticks out to me the most is (Zaven Collins) is a linebacker who has the tracking abilities of a safety.”
  • (24:12) “If I could have my dream pick – and it still included a cornerback – then it would be Zaven Collins.”
  • (29:25) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Maddy Hudak Twitter

2021 NFL Mock Draft – The Saints Wire – Maddy Hudak’s first round picks for every team

2021 NFL Draft – The Saints Wire – Seven rounds of Saints mock draft picks, with trades

Who Dat Confessional Podcast on YouTube

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

NFL Draft Evaluations 101 with Randy Mueller

Black and Gold Rush features former New Orleans Saints GM Randy Mueller with the NFL Draft just three days away!

Mueller was thrilled to join the show and “be back in Saints world” – what he called one of the best times in his career, though it only lasted two years.

Mueller shares his insights on many topics from his 30+ years in football, from drafting the Saints’ all-time leading rusher Deuce McAllister in 2001 and how mock drafts played a role, to what the Who Dat Nation is all wondering – where the Saints will go with the 28th overall pick in 2021. Mueller also gets candid about how things ended for him in New Orleans and shares advice for others when life gets turned upside down.

Tune in Thursday, April 29, for a special NFL Draft edition of Black and Gold Rush with The Saints Wire’s Maddy Hudak!

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (3:40) “At age 17, I packed up my belongings and goofy looking permed hairdo and went over to the Seahawks facility and worked for $44 a week and ended up 20 years later, I was the boss.”

  • (7:10) “I’ve always been able to use these mock drafts as a tool. And when I say mock drafts, it’s anybody’s mock drafts, I don’t care if it’s a guy on the street, if it’s a guy from another team, if it’s a media guy, I welcomed all of our people to collect these drafts and bring them into our draft room.”

  • (15:02) “My philosophy has always been if you tell me exactly what you want, we’ll find it, that’s not a problem, we’ll find exactly the right fit. So I think it’s all about fit.”

  • (21:01) “I have Trevor Lawrence at the top, he has all all the boxes checked. He’s a big strong dude who can make all the throws. I think the biggest question I have about him is learning an NFL offense and processing it at a higher rate of speed than he’s ever had to do before at Clemson. And then I have Zach Wilson rated second behind him. Zack does so many things inside the pocket and outside the pocket and does more level 2 and level 3 quarterback tasks than any of the ones for me in this year’s draft. The other three guys, for me all have some questions.”

  • (23:44) “Picking as late as they do 28, here’s what I would say, I would say they’d be less inclined to fill a specific need and more inclined to pick the best player available. Nobody stacks their board the same. So the Saints pick at 28 will probably get somebody on their board that they rank in the top 20.”
  • (27:43) “The two short seasons I spent in New Orleans were the best of my professional life. It was awesome. And it was mainly because of the fans.”
  • (32:58) “Whether it’s doing podcasts, whether it’s writing, whether it’s doing anything you like, just try to stay in as many lanes as you can so you have options. And really, it’s all about options. That’s what our world is, right? It’s about timing and options.”  
  • (34:38) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Randy Mueller Twitter

Mueller Football Advising

The Football GM on Apple Podcasts

The Draft Chronicles Part I: The Value of Mock Drafts

The Draft Chronicles Part II: The Draft is a crap shoot, right?

Deuce McAllister reflects on being drafted by the Saints 20 years ago today

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!

New Orleans Saints Draft Primer: Luke Johnson Joins the Podcast

This episode of Black and Gold Rush is a great mix of behind-the-scenes content and a Saints draft preview!

Host Rachel Jones and Luke Johnson, Saints beat writer at The Times-Picayune & New Orleans Advocate, predict the Saints’ strategy for the 2021 NFL Draft during their wide-ranging conversation.

Rachel and Luke were on The Daily Reveille sports staff together at LSU – and they reunite to discuss how serving in the U.S. Marine Corps shaped Luke’s life, the story behind Luke meeting his wife Chelsea, and much more.

Don’t miss next Monday’s episode featuring former Saints GM Randy Mueller!

LISTEN FOR THESE QUOTES:

  • (6:05) “First and foremost, my dad was in the Marines for 20 years. I always kind of envied his stories. So that was number one. And number two, 911 happened when I was a sophomore in high school. And then that was pretty formative for a lot of people my age.”

  • (12:30) “(Luke’s wife) Chelsea worked in back shop and I worked in the newsroom. So we crossed paths every now and then … But then randomly we had a class together, and ironically enough the name of the class was Marriage and Family.”

  • (15:40) “I think Caleb Farley is the best corner in this draft.”

  • (23:49) “Everybody should pause this podcast now and go watch like a 5-minute Rondale Moore highlight tape. The guy is just so much fun to watch with the ball in his hands.”

  • (30:29) “Because both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill are going to be free agents next year, there’s no guarantee that either of those guys are going to pan out in this offense. And I think it’d be smart enough to just like, always be keeping their options open with the quarterback position – the Saints should be example number one for how important that position is.”
  • (32:28) Random Round

CONNECT WITH US / LINKS MENTIONED:

Saints beat writer mock draft 2.0: Luke Johnson’s picks

Saints have 8 picks in the NFL Draft – Who are the best ever selected in those spots?

Luke Johnson Twitter

Rachel Jones Twitter

Rachel Jones Instagram

SUBSCRIBE, RATE AND REVIEW:

“Black and Gold Rush is awesome and authentic, and I can’t wait for more.”<— If that sounds like you, please rate and review the show! —> It’s easy – scroll to the bottom on Apple Podcasts, tap to rate out of 5 stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then let me know what you loved most about the episode!