The Saints wanted Patrick Mahomes and Reuben Foster, both got swiped from them

Every pick in NFL history just happens to be the exact player that team coveted. Just listen to the press conferences after the picks. Nobody ever had to settle for their second choice. Every team is thrilled with every single pick they’ve made, throughout NFL history.

That’s not true, obviously, but we rarely hear about the near miss that broke a front office’s heart. Unless you have a pro golfer in the draft room and he spills the beans the next day, or the linebacker you were ready to draft tells a story about how he hung up on you when another team called.

The story of the New Orleans Saints’ draft plan came from unlikely sources on Friday. We found out that the Saints wanted quarterback Patrick Mahomes and linebacker Reuben Foster, and a couple of trades cost them both players.

Golfer Ryan Palmer got a chance to hang with the Saints during the draft, and he was asked about the experience. He was talking about how cool it was, and how the team rebounded even though they were disappointed Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes went at No. 10 to the Kansas City Chiefs, who traded up, one spot before the Saints were on the clock.

Come again?

“Those last three, four minutes deciding who they wanted after their, uh, I think they were really big into Mahomes,” Palmer said. “But when they got [cornerback Marshon] Lattimore, you could see the excitement in all the scouts’ eyes and coach [Sean] Payton’s eyes.”

That’s interesting. Mahomes would have been the heir apparent to Drew Brees, and it would have been a huge story going forward. It also means the Saints thought Mahomes was on a higher level than Deshaun Watson. The Saints passed on Watson at No. 11, and then the Houston Texans traded up to No. 12 to take Watson.

That wasn’t the last time the Saints had a pick swiped from them in the first round, incredibly enough. The Saints were on the phone with Foster, just before they went on the clock at No. 32. Foster then got a call from the San Francisco 49ers, who traded up to No. 31 when he was on the phone with New Orleans. And Foster just hung up on the Saints. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington told the story.

These types of stories happen over and over at every NFL draft (although, the part about your pick hanging up on you because another team drafted him is probably rare). And the Saints ended up with a nice first round, taking Ohio State’s Lattimore and Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

However, the Saints’ draft would have been much, much different had two different teams not traded a spot ahead of them to take their preferred pick. And the Saints’ fans can now track what might have been, now that we know who New Orleans really wanted.

Coach Sean Payton and the Saints made two first-round picks on Thursday. (AP)
Coach Sean Payton and the Saints made two first-round picks on Thursday. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!