Jeff Ireland: Saints rookie quarterback Jake Haener has similarities to Drew Brees

Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the Washington State Cougars 29-6 to win the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
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The Saints believe fourth-round rookie quarterback Jake Haener has some of the same traits as the greatest quarterback in franchise history.

Jeff Ireland, the Saints’ assistant general manager and college scouting director, told Jeff Duncan of that Haener, who like Brees is short but an accurate passer, has great potential.

“You wouldn’t think he was 6-foot tall when you watch him,” Ireland said of Haener. “He’s got great processing ability. He’s got great vision. He’s got a quick stroke. He’s extremely smart. He’s a sixth-year senior, so he’s really mature for being a college senior. He’s competed in two different programs, he’s competed at Washington, competed at Fresno State. And I was just really impressed with the person, how he plays. He’s had several fourth-quarter comebacks. He does kind of remind you or there’s some similarities to No. 9.”

Ireland acknowledged that there’s only one Drew Brees, but he also said Haener has special traits.

“You can’t really compare him, and I’m always careful to use the comparison because he doesn’t compare to Drew, he’s the only one,” Ireland said. “But there are some similarities that make you feel like, OK, maybe he can play similarly to that person. And you thought, OK, well you got another short quarterback in the league, you got Bryce Young. He just got picked first in the draft. What if Jake’s in that offense [at Alabama]? I just think, hypothetically, Jake would have success if he’s at Alabama. So we tossed a lot of these things around, like the idea of having a young developmental quarterback learn a new system with Derek [Carr] and Jameis [Winston]. So that’s just a smart business move, in our opinion. We felt like that was a smart move to get a young player in there to develop. We just want to see him develop in a system where we feel like it’s going to be successful, learn from two guys that have been doing this and battled as starters in this league. We feel like that’s smart business.”

If Haener can earn that comparison to Brees, drafting him in the fourth round will prove to be very smart business.

6 responses to “Jeff Ireland: Saints rookie quarterback Jake Haener has similarities to Drew Brees

  1. Similar but different. One hasn’t played in an NFL game. The other one won 172 NFL games and a Super Bowl 🙂

  2. Sure every single late round QB drafted looks great according to the guy that drafted them. Just like how everyone says they were just about to draft Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and every other successful QB drafted later in the Draft.

  3. You do a tremendous disservice to a player when you compare him to a HOF quarterback. I don’t understand why he can’t say, ‘he possesses the qualities that make players special’ and then list said qualities.

  4. Remember, this is the SAME Jeff Ireland who was the GM for the Miami Dolphins for a few years. There is a reason they ‘parted ways'(fired) him.

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