New Orleans Saints reach for a quarterback in CBS Sports mock draft

Malik Willis - Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Malik Willis - Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

With the No. 18 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints reach for a quarterback with a second-round grade. At least this is how it goes down in Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports’ mock draft, who has the black and gold grabbing Liberty’s Malik Willis in the first round.

Here is what Wilson had to say about pairing the Saints with Willis at pick No. 18:

"We have a second-round grade on Willis but — and stop us if you’ve heard this already — that doesn’t mean teams looking for a quarterback won’t take one 15 to 30 picks before perhaps they should. The Saints will be looking for a new coach and a new QB, assuming, of course, Taysom Hill or Ian Book aren’t considered short-term solutions. The team could re-up Jameis Winston, but if the offense is looking for an athletic playmaking QB in the mold of Hill, Willis is an upgrade in every respect — he’ll just need time to grow into the role."

The only way I’m okay with the Saints grabbing a quarterback in this draft is if they get Jameis Winston back for another season. Kenny Pickett might be the only signal-caller in this draft class that’s ready to start in Week 1 and it’s doubtful New Orleans will have a realistic shot at landing the product from Pittsburgh.

New Orleans Saints reach to get a QB in mock draft

Willis is an interesting name to watch in the draft. On the one hand, he put up nice numbers in college but then you have to take into account that he played at Liberty, which doesn’t face the stiffest of competition.

Willis threw for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 picks while rushing for 878 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s going to get a lot of comparisons to Lamar Jackson coming out of college because of how good he is as a runner. The Saints have a quarterback capable of being able to run the ball well in Taysom Hill but he could potentially miss the entire 2022 season due to his Lisfranc injury.

The Saints need to get their offense fixed this offseason and that starts with quarterback. It’s hard for any quarterback to step onto the field with their best weapon through the air being Marquez Callaway. That’s not a knock on Callaway, as he shouldn’t be tasked with being WR1 when he’s a WR3 at best.

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If Willis is the Saints’ first-round pick, hopefully they add a wide receiver in free agency and in the second round of the draft.