Golfer Ryan Palmer: Saints were 'really big into [Patrick] Mahomes'

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints were “really big into” Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II on Thursday night, according to professional golfer (and amateur draft insider) Ryan Palmer, a friend of head coach Sean Payton who was invited into the Saints’ war room along with fellow golfer Jordan Spieth.

Palmer spoke about his the experience with the media after Round 2 of the PGA’s Zurich Classic, which is being held in New Orleans.

It’s unclear if that means the Saints would have taken Mahomes ahead of Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore at No. 11, though. Payton said on Thursday night that Lattimore was ranked third or fourth overall on New Orleans’s draft board and that the team even spoke to teams about trading up to get him once he started to slip. Payton said the reaction in the room was “outstanding” when Lattimore fell to New Orleans, and credited Palmer and Spieth for bringing good luck.

But it sounds like Mahomes was in the conversation, so the Kansas City Chiefs were probably wise to trade up to No. 10 and swoop in ahead of both New Orleans and the Cleveland Browns.

The Saints would have sent even more shockwaves into a wild first night of the draft if they had drafted a quarterback, since Drew Brees is still thriving at age 38.

But it seemingly would have been more about New Orleans’s love for Mahomes than a determination to find Brees’s successor. The Saints passed on Deshaun Watson at No. 11. And they weren’t considering a quarterback at No. 32 when they took Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

There’s still a good chance New Orleans could take a QB on Friday night, since they have three picks (No. 42, No. 76 and No. 103). But they’ll have to really love the prospect, since Payton has raved about the depth and the importance of these next couple of rounds, saying Day 2 will be the “strength” of this year’s draft.

Among the quarterbacks who could start flying off the board Friday are Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Cal’s Davis Webb, Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs, Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman and Miami’s Brad Kaaya.