(NEW ORLEANS, La.) — Saints owner Mickey Loomis recently announced that the Saints signed receiver Jalen McCleskey from free agency.
His arrival comes off a successful workout at Tulane’s pro day, held at the Saints’ facility. McCleskey brings elite speed to a thin Saints receiving core. He ran a blazing 4.28 second 40-yard dash and averaged 15.7 yards per catch in 2019 as Tulane’s leading receiver.
McCleskey, a 2015 graduate of St. Paul’s, played for four years at Oklahoma State. He capped off his college career with the Cowboys with 167 receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns.
After his fourth year of college, his father, former Saints player J.J. McCleskey, became Tulane’s cornerbacks coach. This move brought Jalen to New Orleans to play his final collegiate season, although he had much success at Oklahoma State and was dubbed by sports analysts as one of the top receivers in the Big 12. In his final collegiate season at Tulane, McCleskey gathered up 37 catches for 581 yards and four touchdowns.
Despite a successful college career, McCleskey went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was picked up a few weeks later by the Atlanta Falcons and spent training camp with them. He was later released and had been a free agent since.
“Jalen is a smart player. He has good speed, very good change of direction, and body control,” said Saints Tight End Coach Dan Roushar. McCleskey “has a chance to compete for our team, and Coach Curtis Johnson is excited about McCleskey’s development, he added.”