That’s not the best use of a draft pick, but we’ve seen worse from the New Orleans Saints. KUSA 9 Denver’s Mike Klis reports that the Denver Broncos have signed defensive tackle Jordan Jackson to a reserve/future deal after his practice squad contract expired with New Orleans. The Saints drafted Jackson in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft out of the Air Force Academy but stashed him on the practice squad for his entire rookie year, never calling him up for a game.
It’s a bit surprising given the only defensive tackle the Saints have under contract for 2023 is Prince Emili, who joined Jackson on the practice squad last season. It shouldn’t be hard for New Orleans to re-sign free agents like Shy Tuttle, Kentavius Street, and Malcolm Roach, and they should be able to cut a deal with veteran starter David Onyemata, but that group didn’t perform very well anyway.
Still, this isn’t what you want to see from a rookie draft pick. The Saints never gave Jackson a shot in a game and went with other players signed off the street instead, so it makes sense for him to go searching for a fresh start in a different locale. Late-round picks like these (Jackson was selected at No. 194 overall) are more like scratch-off lottery tickets, but you’d still like to see New Orleans get a better return on that investment than losing a player just months after calling his name on draft day. Hopefully they can make better use of those resources in April’s 2023 NFL draft.