1. Any first-round QB
If you thought this year’s tight end draft class was bad, the quarterback class is worse. We’re going to come right out and say it: Don’t take a QB.
Any and all first-round prospects should be avoided: Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder, etc. Cross them all off the list.
The most foolish thing the Saints could do is package their first-round picks for a higher pick to take one of the quarterbacks off the board. The second most foolish thing would be forcing a QB selection in the first round, regardless of which player falls to the team.
Does each QB prospect have his own unique set of talents and skills? Sure. Pickett’s aggressive playing style, Willis’ mobility, Corral’s quick release, Ridder’s all-around polished pocket presence — these are not traits that should be quickly glossed over.
On the other hand, not a single one of them measures up to say, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, or Trey Lance from last year’s draft, and look at how the 2021 first-rounders have fared this past season. If those quarterbacks need extra time to adapt to their respective offensive schemes, double that for any top prospect in 2022.
NOLA put themselves in the best situation possible by extending Jameis Winston and signing backup Andy Dalton, as it gave the team the confidence to pass on a QB and use its first-rounders on the wide receiver or offensive line unit instead.
Don’t buy into peer pressure, and don’t hit the panic button for a quarterback — not yet.
If that means taking an Ian Book-type later in the draft, so be it. Better to throw away a fourth round pick than a first round one.