Zion Williamson dabbles in football fun with Saints

Jul 29, 2019 10:12 PM ET

Zion Williamson joined the New Orleans Saints quarterbacks for a challenge. (Photo via Pelicans)

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints coach Sean Payton says Zion Williamson’s athleticism and physical stature would make the Pelicans rookie and top NBA draft choice an intriguing NFL prospect at a handful of positions, starting with the defensive line or tight end.

But Williamson is making a case for quarterback as well, albeit in good fun.

The NFL’s Saints and NBA’s Pelicans are both owned by Gayle Benson and their training headquarters are on the same campus. So the Saints have invited the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson to watch Saints training camp practices and on Monday included him in a Saints quarterback challenge that Drew Brees regularly organizes with Saints reserve QBs.

The latest challenge involved throwing a football through a basketball hoop. Williamson nearly did so from about 50 yards away.

In an interview on SiriusXM, Payton joked that the Saints thought about using a seventh-round draft choice on Williamson “in case there was a problem across the parking lot.”

Zion Williamson shares a laugh with Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

Payton says if he surveyed his staff on who would like a chance to develop Williamson, “there’d be five position coaches with their hands up right now starting with the defensive line coach, the tight end coach.”

“He’s a tremendous prospect,” Payton added. “I know they’re excited and thrilled to have him here and we’re excited for the Pelicans because, look, we are separated by a parking lot and this winning culture is somewhat contagious.”


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