Options At The Quarterback Position
So, which quarterbacks should the Saints go after?
From this line of thinking, big-play quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford are appealing, yet New Orleans cannot afford them. Nor do they likely have a chance at drafting Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, or Trey Lance.
Taysom Hill is mobile, but he doesn’t have the baseline of ability to converted intended air yards to actual air yards, as his accuracy is a major question mark. Meanwhile, there isn’t much reason to target a safe option such as Andy Dalton in free agency.
Alabama’s Mac Jones is a strict pocket passer, but he showed the ability to throw the ball down the field, is very accurate, and also performed well on out of structure plays when he had to. He could step in for the Saints and be a perfect bridge quarterback on a cheap contract.
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The best two options, however, are the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and Jameis Winston. Hurts showcased dynamic rushing ability and were capable of high-end plays, but struggled with turnovers.
However, recent studies indicate that high-end production from young quarterbacks indicates future success better than limiting turnovers, and Hurts’ mobility would be used perfectly with Payton.
As we went over, his propensity to hold onto the ball too long should not be a concern.
Yet, New Orleans would have to trade draft capital for Hurts, and he might not even be available.
Thus, in the end, Jameis Winston is the team’s best option heading into next season. While not particularly mobile, he has one of the highest average depth of targets in the NFL, which means that he relies less on yardage after the catch.
By slightly lowering his average depth of target and letting him make more high-percentage throws (Bruce Arians rated very poorly as a play-caller in 2019), he could easily prospect.
Plus, he should be affordable after spending the year as a backup. Remember, turnover luck is fluky, and with the Saints likely to not have as much roster talent, chasing a volatile quarterback with a high range of outcomes makes the most sense.