Malik Cunningham was a staple in the Louisville Cardinals offense for four seasons full-time, and as a part of the team for six years. Redshirted in 2017, he didn’t start the majority of games until 2019. In a program with a history of dual-threat quarterbacks, headlined by Lamar Jackson, Malik Cunningham left his mark on the program.
During his time here, he finished his career with 9,664 passing yards, 70 passing touchdowns, 29 interceptions, 3,184 rushing yards, and 50 rushing touchdowns. A total of 120 touchdowns makes him the quarterback with the most touchdowns responsible for in Louisville history.
He just surpassed Lamar Jackson for the most touchdowns responsible for in program history. Lamar finished his Louisville career with 119 touchdowns responsible for, but even still both signal callers have been portrayed as possible wide receivers in the National Football League.
Lamar Jackson clearly has been an effective quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens and Malik Cunningham has a very similar skillset, which means he could remain a quarterback at the next level if he falls into the right situation.
To that end, a former NFL scout has said that the New Orleans Saints should draft Malik Cunningham with the 29th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft that begins on April 27, 2023.
Malik Cunningham pic.twitter.com/IT8UTVcGD6
— FIRST ROUND MOCK (@firstroundmock) April 22, 2023
Previewing the New Orleans Saints quarterback situation:
If you haven’t heard by now, the New Orleans Saints signed a big fish in free agency this offseason with the signing of former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Derek Carr signed a four-year contract, worth $150 million dollars in March of this year.
So, if the Saints were to draft the former Louisville quarterback, he would definitely be the backup quarterback, or possibly even the third-stringer behind former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston. Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, and Jake Luton are currently the three quarterbacks on the roster.
Derek Carr has played in 142 career NFL games, Jameis Winston has played in 86 career NFL games, and Jake Luton has played in 3 career NFL games. Carr is by far the most experienced quarterback and will likely have no competition for the starting job. Which leaves the question, where would Malik Cunningham fit into this team?
It’s very likely that the Saints could use him in the same way that they use Taysom Hill. Taysom Hill has lined up in about every position on the field, but primarily in the quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end positions.
And Malik has said that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help a team win at the next level.
An interesting late-round prospect here: Malik Cunningham, who broke Lamar Jackson’s Louisville record for total TDs. Cunningham had private workouts with six NFL teams and has told teams he’s willing to do whatever it takes — including playing a hybrid role — to help them win. https://t.co/92KGHG8bP6
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 21, 2023
With the way the Saints have fit Taysom Hill into their lineup, it would make a lot of sense for them to draft Malik Cunningham. And he would have the opportunity to learn under a nine-year NFL veteran Derek Carr. It could be a good situation for all parties.