Nick Saban reacts to Saints trading up to pick Kool-Aid McKinstry

The New Orleans Saints threw a curve ball in the second round of the 2024 NFL draft, trading up with the Green Bay Packers to select Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry. And as luck would have it, McKinstry’s former coach Nick Saban was on the ESPN broadcast to share his thoughts on the pick.

On the ESPN College Gameday pregame show, Saban said he thought McKinstry had been a better cornerback for Alabama than his teammate Terrion Arnold, who was picked in the first round by the Detroit Lions. And Saban was full of praise once the Saints’ pick came in on Friday night.

“This is another guy who has great football intuition, great instincts, I mean he understands offense, he understands pattern match,” Saban gushed, pausing for breath. He continued, “He’s a really fast reactor in the secondary. He ran a good enough time, I thought it’d move him up charts the way he played. He’s a great punt returner as well. I just love hits guy, he’s just really smart and instinctive. It’s why I think he’s going to be a really, really good player. And probably more ready to play before anybody else. I just love this guy.”

So how’s that for an endorsement? McKinstry may have to wait to get on the field with the Saints, given all the talent stacked up in front of him, but he’s overcome big challenges before. He logged nearly 2,200 snaps on defense at Alabama. As Saban alluded to, he also played often on special teams, not just returning punts but running with the kickoff coverage team and the field goal blocking squad. Expect a highly competitive atmosphere in the secondary at Saints training camp.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire