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New Orleans Saints: Analyzing the 2021 NFL Draft by position

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with teammates against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 05: Caleb Farley #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates with teammates against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Quarterback

Long-Term Need at Position: Medium High 

The Saints appear positioned to give Jameis Winston a serious chance to be their starting quarterback next season and evaluate him. Now, he’s far from solidified himself as the answer, but it does give them a bridge necessary to not feel obligated to reach for a player at the position.

An extra quarterback, however, could be in play, as the team likes to carry three with Taysom Hill best served in a versatile role.

First Round Value

  • Justin Fields, Ohio State (Rank: 2nd)
  • Trey Lance, North Dakota State (Rank: 8th)

If Justin Fields starts to slide, the Saints need to immediately pick up the phone and trade up for him.

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However, I’d assume he’ll be long gone, which makes Trey Lance the more reasonable target in a trade-up. Given the organization’s need for youth in a lot of areas, I’d avoid trading up for anyone but Fields.

Other Options

  • Kyle Trask, Florida (Rank: 72)
  • Sam Ehlinger, Texas (Rank: 148)

The Saints have been linked to Kyle Trask, and as long as it isn’t with their first-round pick, that could be a logical target.

At Florida, he averaged 9.8 yards/pass attempt, and although there are questions about his mobility and arm strength, he could be a capable backup in the mold of Nick Foles.

Later on, Ehlinger’s athleticism would profile well in a backup role, and he had multiple productive seasons at Texas. He might be available in undrafted free agency, where Northwestern’s Peyton Ramsey or Notre Dame’s Ian Book could also be potential options as well.

Buyer Beware

  • Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (Rank: 192)
  • Davis Mills, Stanford (Rank: 137)

Both Mond and Mills have intriguing characteristics, yet between Mond’s lackluster overall production and Mills’ small body of work, both are risks without enough of a pay-off, based on my model projections.

Heck, both might be gone by the time the Saints pick in the second round anyway.

Overview

It’s very unlikely the Saints add to their quarterback room via the draft. Players like Kellen Mond and Davis Mills are a buyer-beware based on their lack of overall production, and there isn’t a lot of value to be had in selecting a quarterback in the middle rounds.

Should they really covet depth, signing a mobile backup such as Brett Hundley makes much more sense, with Ehlinger being the best potential value in the draft.

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