Saints trade up to select Fresno State QB Jake Haener with pick No. 127 of 2023 NFL Draft

The New Orleans Saints traded back into the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft to add another Fresno State Bulldog to the quarterback room.

The Saints selected Jake Haener with the No. 127 overall pick on Saturday afternoon.

New Orleans traded pick No. 227 and a 2024 fourth-round selection to Jacksonville.

Haener joins Derek Carr, the former Bulldog, who signed a $150 million contract in New Orleans this offseason.

At 6-foot, Haener doesn't boast size or a massive arm but is a field general who distributes the ball well. The 24-year-old overcomes his lack of physical gifts with plus-anticipation and good accuracy.

Haener transferred to Fresno State after spending two years in Washington. In three years with the Bulldogs, he passed for 9,013 yards and 67 touchdowns with 17 interceptions.

New Orleans was in the market for a rookie signal-caller despite having Carr and backup Jameis Winston in the building.

Haener's stock increased throughout the draft process, given his ability to run an offense and distribute the ball on time. Many have compared Haener to last year's "Mr. Irrelevant," Brock Purdy, who went on to shine in San Francisco.

"I think he's similar to Gardner Minshew," an NFC executive told NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero. "He's got some gamer to him, he's accurate -- he just doesn't have a big arm. But he's got a little Drew Brees to him. The ball's going to come out. He knows where he's going with it. He's just not a big person (5-11 5/8, 207 pounds), so can he hold up?"

The Saints are betting Haener can hold up and, at worst, grow into a capable backup signal-caller in the NFL.

Related Content