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2024 NFL draft picks: Saints select Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford in Round 5

Here’s another interesting pick for the New Orleans Saints in the 2024 NFL draft. The Saints selected Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford at No. 175 overall in the fifth round, adding more athleticism and a ton of playmaking ability to the middle of their defense.

Ford’s 8.30 Relative Athletic Score is close enough to line up with the Saints’ in-house metrics, and it’s worth noting how well he moves for a 6-foot-2, 240 pound linebacker. He’s very explosive and agile in a small space, though he doesn’t have any business covering receivers 40 yards downfield. He’s at his best making plays in run defense and guarding the flats. He had 6 interceptions in college.

That’s a good pick before you look at his special teams experience. Ford ran with the kicking and punting units at Texas while also playing on the field goal block squad, totaling 572 snaps in the game’s third phase in his four-year career. He can help the Saints in several different phases if his skills translate to the next level.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire