In the 2018 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints traded up from the 27th overall pick to the 14th overall pick to take UTSA pass-rusher Marcus Davenport. In Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report’s redo of the 2018 draft, not only did they not have NOLA trade up, but they have them go with an offensive player.
Mark Andrews is who they took with the 27th overall pick in this redraft. The tight end out of Oklahoma has flourished in Baltimore, amassing at least 550 yards in each of his four seasons with the Ravens.
Here’s the analysis of why Andrews was the Saints’ pick in this redraft:
"Last year with the Baltimore Ravens, Mark Andrews exploded into the elite tier of players at his position, catching a whopping 107 passes for 1,361 yards and nine scores. It was the second time the two-time Pro Bowler had at least nine touchdowns and the third consecutive year he cleared 55 catches and 700 yards with at least seven scores.In 2018, the Saints’ top tight end was 38-year-old Ben Watson. Outside one Pro Bowl season from Jared Cook, the team hasn’t had a difference-maker at the position since Jimmy Graham’s heyday.Andrews would have been a massive get for Drew Brees in the twilight of his career."
While Marcus Davenport had a nice season in 2021, this time last year we were talking about how big of a bust he was turning out to be. Fortunately, New Orleans went with their gut and picked up his fifth-year option so they hopefully get to benefit from him balling out in a contract year.
Davenport’s 2021 campaign likely helped him remain as a first-round pick in this redraft, as he went 25th overall to the Titans. This isn’t quite the 14th overall pick that happened in real life but it’s still big to see Davenport still go in round one after three not-so-great seasons.
Mark Andrews would have helped New Orleans Saints
Andrews has become one of the best tight ends in the entire league. Meanwhile, the Saints are trying to find who their starting tight end is.
As Gary Davenport notes in the blurb, Ben Watson was the Saints’ starting tight end in 2018 and he was pushing 40 years old at that time. The team hasn’t been able to find a consistent lethal tight end since they traded Jimmy Graham.
Having Andrews on the roster right now would have likely prevented the Adam Trautman pick two years ago to have taken place and last year’s offense would have been a smidge better with the Oklahoma product on the roster.
While this isn’t what actually happened, at least these 2018 redrafts aren’t as painful as they once were now that Marcus Davenport doesn’t look like as big of a bust. He even went before Mark Andrews in this particular draft.
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How much different would things be with the New Orleans Saints now had they taken Mark Andrews in the 2018 NFL Draft instead?