With the 49th pick overall, the New Orleans Saints selected University of Tennessee cornerback Alontae (pronounced uh-LAWN-tay) Taylor.
· Taylor is the 12th player taken from Tennessee by the Saints and the first since running back Alvin Kamara was taken in the third round in 2017. The 12 Tennessee players represent the fifth most selections from a specific college or university by New Orleans.
· Taylor joins Kamara, wide receiver Marquez Callaway, defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, defensive back Bryce Thompson and tight end Ethan Wolf as former Volunteers on the roster. The six Tennessee alums are the most on the Saints roster.
· This is the sixth consecutive year that the Saints have selected a player from the Southeastern Conference in the NFL Draft.
· Taylor was a high school quarterback at Coffee County (Manchester, Tenn.) High School, who began his college career at wide receiver before converting to defensive back in training camp of his freshman year.
· In four seasons in Knoxville, Taylor played in 45 games with 31 starts and finished with career totals of 162 tackles (115 solo), a split sack, five stops for loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery for a touchdown, four interceptions, one returned 56 yards for a touchdown and one blocked punt.
· In 2021 as a senior, Taylor started all 12 games he appeared in and posted 60 tackles, one stop for loss, one forced fumble and two interceptions, one pick brought back 56 yards for a touchdown at Kentucky. Taylor was a fourth-team Phil Steele All-SEC fourth-team selection and was invited to participate at the Reese's Senior Bowl, recording an interception in the all-star contest.
· As a junior in 2020, Taylor played in eight games with five starts and posted 29 tackles (22 solo), two stops for loss and one interception.
· As a sophomore in 2019, Taylor played in 13 games with six starts and finished with 33 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed.
· As a freshman in 2018, Taylor played in all 12 games with eight starts and became Tennessee's first true freshman defensive back to start a season opener since 2013. He recorded 40 tackles, one stop for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown, two passes defensed and one blocked punt.
· The 6-foot, 193-pound Taylor was a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, graduating in December with a communications degree. Taylor was voted by his player peers to the SEC Football Leadership Council in 2020, where he recently completed his second term as vice chair.