After a relatively quiet offseason, the New Orleans Saints made a bold move in acquiring an additional first-round pick in this month’s NFL draft in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. How might that impact this Saints mock draft?
There is much speculation as to whether this trade indicates a desire by the Saints to fill their remaining roster needs surrounding Jameis Winston in an attempt to remain competitive in an open NFC race or if this could be the year the Saints find Drew Brees’ successor.
Only time will tell.
Until then, let’s see how a Saints mock draft would go now that there are new picks to discuss.
Round 1: Pick 16 – Desmond Ridder, QB (Cincinnati)
Most Saints fans, upon learning of the recent Saints-Eagles trade, are expecting a wide receiver and a left tackle to be selected with New Orleans’ first two picks. However, it is highly unlikely the Saints would part with such marked future draft capital (2023 first-round pick, 2024 second-round pick) without securing a franchise quarterback.
Not picking a quarterback in this year’s draft would leave the Saints without a permanent answer at the game’s most important position and limited draft capital or cap space to address that need in the near future.
One possibility is for the Saints to package both of their first-round picks to move into the top five ahead of both the Panthers and the Falcons to target Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett.
Barring a potential trade-up, the Saints may have also made this move with an eye on a quarterback prospect that is deemed the most NFL-ready alongside Pickett.
Mickey Loomis and company got a chance to see Desmond Ridder at this year’s Senior Bowl, where he threw two touchdown passes in an impressive showing. Dennis Allen attended Cincinnati’s recent Pro Day and got a chance to interact with his potential future signal-caller.
Jameis Winston’s contract can essentially be for one year and Ridder could learn from both Winston and Andy Dalton with plans to take over for the 2023 season, while still being on a rookie contract for four additional years.