The New Orleans Saints could make a surprise move for a top safety in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it will come at a drastic cost.
In the first draft of the Dennis Allen era, the Saints don’t have an obvious, must-nab prospect in this year’s rookie class, but they definitely have options.
Wide receiver and offensive tackle are the two most popular positions mocked to the Saints, but one writer suggested going a different direction.
In a 4-round mock, Saints Wire’s Dylan Sanders proposed a trade between NOLA and Houston that would move the Saints up a few spots on the board. In this trade, New Orleans would give Houston pick No. 16 along with a third-rounder (No. 98) in exchange for pick No. 13, and the Saints would use their higher draft position to select Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, who theoretically falls down the board.
"The value charts put this trade at essentially a draw, with a slight edge to New Orleans. The Texans get to add an extra player to their class, and the Saints get to grab a player at a position of need. Win-win."
Except it’s not really a win for the Saints.
While this trade could feasibly happen between the two teams — Houston and NOLA do have a good history, after all, with the Bradley Roby and Mark Ingram deals — two major factors must be considered.
New Orleans Saints shouldn’t run to the board for any defensive prospect in the first round of the 2022 draft
One, Hamilton has to slide out of the top-ten in the first place, which is difficult to predict, and two, the Saints have direr needs on the offense rather than the defense and should draft accordingly.
At least NOLA keeps its 19th overall pick in the proposed trade and can use it to take a top wide receiver prospect, but going even halfway in on a safety seems unnecessary.
Yes, Marcus Williams left a gaping hole in the Saints’ backfield, but so, too, did Terron Armstead in the Saints’ offensive line. How can one justify adding starting reinforcements to a position group that has ranked in the top-10 in the league in the last few years when another area, the offensive line, needs much more help?
Many thought the 2021 Saints’ squad would experience a regression after losing the likes of Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, and Janoris Jenkins, but NOLA powered through and finished last season with the fourth-best defense in the NFL.
Their offense, on the other hand, tells a different story.
Now that Jameis Winston has been confidently named QB1 for 2022, and with Michael Thomas prepared to step onto the field for the first time in two years, the Saints must upgrade their offensive line. The team has very little depth behind its starters, and winning the battle in the trenches gives NOLA the best shot at generating any offensive rhythm this upcoming season.
We’re firmly in the camp that wants the Saints to shore up its offense early, and if that means passing up a unicorn defender like Hamilton, so be it. Player value can often trump need in NFL drafts, but not this time.