NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – In the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Saints fans may have been surprised to see the team draft Dayton Tight End, Adam Trautman, with the 105th overall pick.
To Saints’ Tight Ends Coach, Dan Campbell, the biggest surprise was to see Trautman fall in the draft right into the Saints lap.
“I know for me personally and coach (Sean Payton) and all of us we were high on this guy. I was high on him and to sit there and watch him just drop in the draft, I was surprised and then the next thing i know is we got him. That’s all I knew at the time and I was man, so excited and I couldn’t believe we got him. Listen, we’re excited, I’m excited,” says Campbell.
At 6’5, 250 lbs., Trautman showed flashes of athleticism and grittiness that displayed all traits of the modern-day Tight End.
Traits that the Saints organization took notice of immediately.
“He’s just got this twitch about him. He’s got some quickness. He can beat man coverage, he did it repeatedly (in college). He’s good in zone, good with the ball in his hands and then you see him line up and put his hand in the ground and get after people in the run game. I was intrigued by this guy and then you go and watch him compete at the Senior Bowl and that’s where to me I got really excited. Because then you can see where and how much he learned just over the course of a week and what kind of potential he does have,” added Campbell.
Since the pandemic, the only interaction that Dan Campbell has had with Trautman has been via Zoom.
After weeks of regular meetings, Campbell says that Trautman has the mental make-up to face some of the best competition the NFL has to offer.
“Cam Jordan is arguably the best defensive end in the game right now as a total player and the first day we have a drill and he has Cam one-one-one right in his face, you know it’ll open his eyes quickly. But the ones that are competitive and they don’t want to be exposed like that anymore. They are again sink or swim. They want the answers, they want the tools in the toolbox to excel because they don’t like that feeling. No one likes to be defeated.”
Campbell just hopes that mental toughness can translate to the speed, not only of the professional game, but of the Saints offense.
“We’ve got an advanced offense. We’ve had a quarterback, offensive coordinator and head coach that have been here for over 10 years and so the level of our offense is high. You have to do multiple jobs. With the exception of Drew Brees, nobody has to know more about this offense than our tight ends do. They have to know everything from the run, pass (and) protection, you got to know the defense, the secondary, what we’re doing, what are the calls, you’ve got the shifts and the motions, is it one or two. What’s the situation? Those things will all be on his plate mentally. Those will be something new for him. But there again, can you mentally have it and what kind of character do you have? I think he’s smart enough and I do think he’s got the type of attitude where he’s going to get out and compete and he’s going to want more and he wants to show he can do it.”