With the 231st pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Saints selected tight end Alizé Mack from Notre Dame.
From NFL.com, Mack came to the Irish with great expectations after starring at Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman, which had won six straight state high school titles as well as the mythical national championship in one of the seasons he was there. He started five games as a true freshman at Notre Dame, catching 13 passes for 190 yards (14.6 average) in 13 games played. Mack was academically ineligible in 2016 and did not play. He practiced with the team that fall, and then worked through the summer to become eligible in 2017. He started six games as a junior, grabbing 19 passes for 166 yards (8.7 average) and a touchdown on a team that lacked consistency in the passing game. Mack started 12 games in 2018 for the College Football Playoff participants, receiving 36 passes for 360 yards (10.0 per) and three scores.
Alize Mack came to the New Orleans Saints by way of their first draft pick in the seventh round this year, and the former Notre Dame tight end says he was overjoyed to hear the news.
“It’s a dream come true,” Mack said. “I am going to take full responsibility and full advantage of this opportunity and I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I am so happy. I am so thankful.
“I just want to thank the Saints organization, Coach Payton, and the rest of the organization for taking a chance on me. They definitely will not regret it. A hundred percent.”
The Las Vegas native says he enjoyed his trip to New Orleans to meet the Saints and see not only their facilities, but the city itself.
“I loved it. It felt like home honestly,” Mack said.
“Just walking around the facility and being around the coaches. Being able to watch film with Coach (Dan) Campbell and just to talk with Coach (Sean) Payton. I loved it.
“Just being able to see the city. It just felt like home. It is an entirely different offense and what they bring to the table and just Drew Brees, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
“One of the greatest quarterbacks in the league, if not the best. What an honor to be able to have an opportunity to be on the same team as him along with the rest of the weapons they have got. I am just at a loss of words right now.”
Mack says the Saints offense will benefit from his versatility at the position.
“A weapon,” he said. “You’re going to get a guy who can do it all. A guy who can line up in line, but a guy who can line up on the outside and be a mismatch problem vertically down the field.
“A guy who can be a huge red zone threat. More so than that, you’re going to get a dude who will come to work every single day. Regardless of what’s going on, I’m going to come in every single day ready to go and ready to compete, no doubt.”
Mack says he anticipates working with Jared Cook, who the Saints signed this year.
“I know that you guys just got Cook from the Raiders,” he said.
“He’s a big time baller, a vet. A dude that I definitely look forward to talking to, getting to know, and being able to pick his brain. Just to be able to learn behind him, along with the rest of the guys out there on that offense. To learn how I can come in and make an immediate impact to be able to help the team in any way, shape, or form.”
The New Orleans Saints used one of their final picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to add Notre Dame tight end prospect Alize Mack, and the 6-foot-4, 250 pounder wants them to know that he’s grateful for the chance to compete for a spot on their roster.
“I’m going to take full responsibility and full advantage of this opportunity, and I can’t wait,” Mack explained in a conference call with local media following his selection. He reflected on an official pre-draft visit he took to New Orleans, touring team facilities and meeting privately with coaches. “It felt like home as soon as I came down there.”
When asked what the Saints are getting with him, he replied, “A weapon. You’re going to get a guy who can do it all, a guy who can line up in-line, a guy who can line up on the outside and be a mismatch problem vertically down the field, a guy who can be a huge red zone threat.”
The numbers back up his words. Per Pro Football Focus charting, Mack lined up all over the formation for Notre Dame. Check out his splits from his 2018 season:
51.1% of snaps inline 30.6% of snaps in the slot 16.7% of snaps in the backfield 1.5% of snaps at wide receiver
That’s a perfect fit for what the Saints ask out of their tight ends, using them as mismatch weapons to set opponents up to fail. If Mack can succeed in those roles and continue to develop (he caught just 36 passes last year for 360 yards, three of them in the endzone) he can become a real threat in due time.
Few tight ends were as prized coming out of high school in 2014 than Alize Mack. Rated the top player at the position nationally by ESPN and 247Sports, the Las Vegas native won four state titles during his career at Bishop Gorman. It included a resounding 70-28 demolition of Reed in his final game with the school before heading off to college. Seven Pac-12 programs offered him a scholarship but he ended up picking Notre Dame as his school of choice in January 2015.
Mack saw action in all 13 games and even made one start as a true freshman. But his impact was muted as he made just 13 catches for 190 yards and didn’t score a single touchdown. A year later, he ran into academic issues and was ruled ineligible for the entirety of the season. He didn’t miss much on the field as the Irish stumbled to a 4-8 campaign.
After regaining academic eligibility, Mack returned to the field in 2017 and made six starts. Though he registered his first touchdown grab against Miami on November 11th, once again his production was rather ordinary as he managed just 166 yards receiving. He enjoyed a bit of a bump during his senior season in South Bend. He started every game and his 360 yards and three touchdown catches led all Notre Dame tight ends. The highlight of the season was his two-touchdown effort in a 42-13 win over Florida State.