Former Vikings tight end Brandon Dillon signs with Saints

John Sigler
Saints Wire

Here’s a new addition: the New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that they have signed free agent tight end Brandon Dillon, who turned pro with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Marian, a small university in Indianapolis — where he was briefly teammates with former Saints practice squad wideout Krishawn Hogan, so that’s interesting.

Dillon, 25, spent his first three years in the NFL with Minnesota before joining the New York Jets late in the 2021 season; New York released him shortly after the 2022 NFL draft. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he fits New Orleans’ established prototype for the position, and his 7.26 Relative Athletic Score is good, not great. Dillon’s best performance came in the three-cone drill, where he graded out with impressive change-of-direction agility. That helped him average 17.2 yards per catch during his senior year of college.

Aug 29, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Brandon Dillon (86) runs after making a catch in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.

But he’s only dressed for five games in his NFL career, totaling one reception to gain 6 yards (which didn’t convert a first down). He’s played 28 snaps on special teams against just 19 reps on offense in the pros, which may help illustrate his path to making the team. With a couple of experienced players already locked into roster spots, Dillon is facing an uphill battle.

We don’t know yet who will be waived to open a roster spot (New Orleans has met its 90-man offseason roster limit), but at the moment the other tight ends under contract include Adam Trautman, Nick Vannett, Taysom Hill, Juwan Johnson, and offseason additions J.P. Holtz, Kahale Warring, and Lucas Krull. The team typically keeps three tight ends during the season, sometimes four, so it’s going to be tough to make the cut.