Sean Payton could find many roles for Zion Williamson

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

When the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson with the first pick in the draft, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he was “passing the torch.”

If Saints coach Sean Payton had regular access to the former Duke star, he’d rather pass him the football. Or let him pass-rush. Or just about anything.

Williamson has been a visitor at Saints camp a few days, and Payton can only imagine what the 6-7, 285-pound Williamson could do.

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“If you’ve seen the way he’s put together, . . .” Payton said on Sirius/XM NFL Radio, via ESPN.com. “Just 10 snaps a game as a sub [defensive] end.”

Payton said if Williamson was available to them, “there’d be five position coaches with their hands up right now, starting with the defensive line coach and the tight end coach.”

“It’s not like he requires a lot of projection,” Payton continued. “Like, we’ve looked at a lot of body types, but I feel like that’s an easy projection. . . .

“We considered the seventh-round pick even in case there was a problem across the parking lot.”

The Pelicans are also owned by Gayle Benson, and they probably need the help more than the Saints. Of course, the basketball team may start making eyes at Michael Thomas soon, if the Saints aren’t willing to pay him something approaching NBA rates.


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