The New Orleans Saints were spotted scouting UNC’s loss to Clemson on Saturday, possibly giving them insight on quarterback Drake Maye, a potential future rival. The Tar Heel Times’ R.J. Bynum noted the Saints as one of six NFL teams with scouts at the game, including the Atlanta Falcons — who were one of a few teams to send multiple representatives to the press box.
Atlanta is projected to pick inside the top-10 next April, putting them in range to trade up to the top of the draft for their chosen passer (just like the Carolina Panthers did in targeting Bryce Young this past cycle). There’s a non-zero chance that Maye could end up being a dirty bird.
If so, his performance on Saturday may have been illuminating. Maye had a bit of a meltdown in the game, completing just 16 of his 36 pass attempts for 209 yards, throwing both a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked four times but rushed for 67 yards, doing his best to give the offense a spark. He’s been pushing USC star Caleb Williams for the top spot in the 2024 draft class and a rough game like this will give NFL evaluators a lot to mull over.
What about the other NFL hopefuls on the field? Clemson’s first-round cornerback prospect Nate Wiggins intercepted Maye to seal the win late in the fourth quarter, forced a fumble on a touchdown-saving play earlier on, and finished second on the team with 7 tackles (6 solo).
Clemson linebackers Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and Barrett Carter each played well (Trotter had 11 combined tackles, a sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a pass deflection) and are both projected to be top-50 picks should they declare for the draft. But it remains to be seen which underclassmen will enter the draft, and it’s anyone’s guess who the Saints were eyeing on Saturday.