Sean Payton and the Saints scouting/drafting team are no strangers to trading up in the NFL Draft. The only thing the black and gold can’t get at No. 28 in this year’s draft (and in most year’s drafts) is a top-five quarterback.
The top five of that position include Trevor Lawrence, the presumed No. 1 overall pick, Zach Wilson from BYU, Mac Jones from Alabama, Justin Fields from Ohio State, and Trey Lance from North Dakota.
For the team to get any of them, they would have to trade up.
However, trading up into the top five or six picks can be brutal on your draft stock. Even looking at just getting into the top ten will cost a plethora of picks including multiple first-round picks. So that begs the question — how far does a top-five quarterback fall before the Saints think about it?
How far does a top-five quarterback have to fall before the New Orleans Saints decide that it is worth trading up to get one of these talents?
I would say that that threshold is No. 9. If one of them starts to fall and drop, then the Saints need to trade up and get their quarterback of the future. After all, both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill are currently working on year-by-year contracts.
Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson will most likely go No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The San Francisco 49ers have narrowed their decision down to Mac Jones and Trey Lance. Most likely, they will lean toward the Alabama quarterback.
The Bengals, Dolphins, Falcons, and Lions all have their quarterbacks so they don’t have a need for one. Carolina could or could not. If both Trey Lance and Justin Fields make it down to the Denver Broncos at No. 9, that is when the Saints need to start phone conversations.
At the same time, who knows if a team like Chicago would trade up as well, and with a better pick, they’d have an easier route to getting a top-10 pick.
Whether you trade up with the Broncos at No. 9 or the Cowboys at No. 10, you will still be guaranteed a top-five quarterback. However, it will cost — big. A trade of that caliber will cost the team two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and at least one third-round pick.
For now, it doesn’t seem worth it.