New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Thursday, April 15 that the club has signed free agent wide receiver Jalen McCleskey.
McCleskey, 23, is a New Orleans native who was raised in Madisonville and originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2020, following a highly productive college career at Oklahoma State and Tulane. The 5-foot-10, 178-pound wideout enjoyed an extremely productive college career from 2015-19 at Oklahoma State and Tulane where he posted career totals of 2,446 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns in 56 games. In four seasons at Oklahoma State, he had 167 catches for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns in four seasons. After earning his bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State, McCleskey spent his final season of eligibility in 2019 as a graduate transfer at Tulane, where he saw action in 13 games and caught 37 passes for 581 yards (15.7 avg.) and four touchdowns, leading the Green Wave in yards per catch, finishing his college career by catching two passes for 87 yards and one touchdown in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl against Southern Mississippi.
During McCleskey's high school career at St. Paul's in Covington, he totaled 1,472 receiving yards, 100 catches and 18 touchdowns as he led the Wolves to an Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Select Prep Classic quarterfinals appearance in his senior year. His father, J.J. McCleskey, enjoyed a seven-year NFL career (1993-1999) with the Saints (1993-96) and Arizona Cardinals (1996-99) at cornerback, while excelling on special teams after converting from being a walk-on wide receiver at the University of Tennessee. In 32 games for New Orleans, J.J. McCleskey posted 29 special teams tackles with two forced fumbles and one recovery with 68 coverage stops through his career. J.J. McCleskey is currently the secondary coach at Tulane.