Saints 2021 Draft Class has Sean Payton's "WISH" Factor

Sean Payton wants a player to have the "WISH" factor in playing for the New Orleans Saints - the Saints' 2021 Draft Class has it.
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Sean Payton wants a player to have the "WISH" factor in playing for the New Orleans Saints - Turner, Werner, Adepo, Book, Young, and Baker have it.

New Orleans Saints 2021 Draft Class: Turner, Werner, Adepo, Book, Young, and Baker

We can understand the Saints' drafting model. Loomis spoke on it, Payton confirmed it, and now we see it. 

Most Saints fans unleashed texts, tweets, postings, and swore expletives after the New Orleans' draft selections this weekend. It's no fault of their own, they layman, and do not comprehend the inner workings of an NFL draft room like the Saints. And on, and on, and on. 

After days and many sleepless nights poring over prospects' draft notes and making predictions, many NFL Draft analysts got the Saints wrong as well. Most years, as Loomis and Payton have led the Saints draft room, being "atypical" is a better word to describe their picks. Right? 

Not so fast. I spoke about before - New Orleans has a model. Mickey Loomis divulged part of the model in Day One's recap, and Sean Payton clearly defined it in analyzing the entire Saints 2021 draft class.

Pete Werner, Saints Linebacker


Many call it the "IT" factor, but according to the Sean Payton, we can call it the "WISH" factor. Not wishing upon a star, but an acronym describing the attributes of a Payton-type player: Weight, Intelligence, Speed, and Height.

HWSI was his way of saying it, but it's easier to rearrange and call it WISH.

The New Orleans Saints 2021 Draft picks have an excellent body of work behind them, but those "unteachable characteristics" of weight, intelligence, speed, and height are rare qualities. They are must-haves for Payton to have in his players. 

Sean Payton noted, "I like the fact each one of these picks are prototyped relative to their position. I like the fact that we feel like it's a smart class, relative to what we're going to ask them to do."

Payton Turner, Saints 1st Round Draft Pick


Payton on Payton Turner: We list a position, and we think, obviously, Payton (Turner) is a defensive end that can play on either side. You'd say you do see him with prototype height, weight, and size. He has good length. We feel like he plays the run and pass equally well.

Payton on OL Landon Young: "Landon Young, I think reads very clearly for us as a tackle. So we'll probably work him at right to begin with, he's played left. I think he's smart enough to play both."

Payton on WR Kawaan Baker: "He's a high IQ player for the receiver position."

Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame


New Orleans philosophy is consistent. It also carried over while selecting undrafted rookie free agents. The Saints have a vision for players when they draft or sign them as rookies. Based on Payton's and Loomis' pressers, the three main questions are as follows: 

  1. Does the player fit their WISH (weight, intelligence, speed, and height) model? 
  2. Can they make the team? 
  3. Where will the player be in three years on the team?

So, if you're ever doing another Saints mock draft, keep Payton's WISH in mind.  

Will every draft pick and signee pan out in the New Orleans Saints and National Football League. The law of averages is probably low. 

If Loomis and Payton stick with their WISH philosophy, will the players selected help New Orleans maintain their status as an elite team and challenge for another Super Bowl title?

We shall see.

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