Kawaan Baker Planned to Sign with the Saints Before They Drafted Him

New Orleans Saints 7th round draft pick Kawaan Baker was ready to sign with the team as an UDFA; then a 504 area code appeared on his smart phone.
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New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has consistently found success with undrafted free agents (UDFAs). South Alabama WR Kawaan Baker told the media on Saturday that he "is very aware" of that success and planned to sign a free-agent contract with the Saints following the draft.  However, those plans changed when he received a second call from a 504 area code.

Saturday afternoon, Baker watched as the clock on the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft started to expire. The young wide receiver began evaluating his options as a potential undrafted free agent. "I was on the phone with [the Saints] working on getting a contract over and everything," Baker said. "Then I got a call again, and Sean Payton was on the phone saying he got some good news."

The South Alabama star wide-out becomes the first Jaguar in their program's history to be drafted by the New Orleans Saints. "I take a lot of pride in it. Just the hard work I put in for these four or five years I've been at South... just making it out of South, in general, is huge. And for the Saints to give me an opportunity, it's a blessing."

Kawaan Baker has his sights set on becoming the latest late-round UDFA to succeed in the NFL with the Saints and Sean Payton. Since 2006, New Orleans has produced numerous members of the organization's Hall of Fame, either drafted in the seventh round or undrafted. That list includes Super Bowl Champions WR Marques Colston, WR Lance Moore, and RB Pierre Thomas. 

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