The NFL Draft is hardly an exact science, and any number of outcomes could arise from the New Orleans Saints’ first-round choices come April. One recent mock has NOLA gambling it all and trading up even higher to ensure the team gets its quarterback of the future.
The Saints’ draft picks trade with the Philadelphia Eagles has already polarized much of the fanbase, though the transaction has been deemed “even” by at least one metric.
With picks No. 16 and No. 19 in 2022, the Saints could pick up a wide receiver or offensive lineman early, and they may go after a quarterback as well.
This year’s QB class is not nearly as competitive as last year’s, and with several teams looking to upgrade at the position, there’s a chance the top three guys could be taken off the board by the time New Orleans picks in the first round.
NFL’s Chad Reuter proposed a situation in which the Saints make sure they get their most desired QB choice by trading into the top-five.
"This four-round mock draft rolls with the idea the Saints are packaging their newly acquired first-rounders to move into the top five for a future signal-caller. They could wait for a quarterback to fall to them at No. 16 or trade into a lower spot in the top 10 for the apple of their eye, but that approach invites competition from other teams looking at those same prospects."
New Orleans Saints trade up to No. 5, select Kenny Pickett in recent mock
A “two-for-one” trade in which a team packages two first-rounders for an even higher one doesn’t happen very often, and the last time such a trade occurred for NOLA was in 2003, when the Saints moved up to nab defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan at No. 6.
This NFL writer clearly fancies teams running to the board to take a quarterback early this year, since he also has the Seattle Seahawks trading up to take Mississippi’s Matt Corral with pick No. 4.
As exciting as it is to see NOLA trade up into not just the top-10 but the top-five, we really don’t think Dennis Allen would make any sort of move. With the 16th and 19th pick, the Saints could still reasonably select a promising quarterback (Desmond Ridder, perhaps?) without sacrificing any more draft capital.
Besides, with this year’s weak quarterback class, there’s a higher probability that Corral, Pickett, and others would fall down the board. The whole reason the Saints engaged in a draft picks trade in 2022 was to acquire two first-rounders instead of one — trading those two for a higher one just doesn’t make sense when there’s no clear absolutely-must-get prospect the Saints have in mind.
Sure, Kenny Pickett is widely considered the best rookie quarterback this year, but the Saints have more pressing needs at wide receiver and the offensive line.
Expect many more trade proposals to come out before the end of April — speculation is the name of the game, after all.