Saints could be interested in trading for Kenyan Drake

Kenyan Drake #23 of the Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Kenyan Drake #23 of the Las Vegas Raiders. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints are on the prowl for extra running back depth this offseason and might be willing to strike a fair trade with the Raiders for Kenyan Drake.

NOLA reportedly tried out running back David Johnson last week, but it seems more and more unlikely that the team will sign him. If the Saints are looking for a combination of experience and upside, Las Vegas Raiders’ Kenyan Drake could serve as a viable RB2 and potential RB1 if Alvin Kamara misses time.

Fan-favorite back Mark Ingram and other starter hopefuls could impress this offseason, yet when it comes to running backs, the Saints want as much depth as possible. With most of their running back room lacking experience, a trade for Drake could complete the Saints’ roster and put them in the best position in 2022.

Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton listed one trade every NFL team should offer before the start of training camp and had NOLA going after a backup running back:

"The Raiders’ Mike Mayock-Jon Gruden era featured numerous poor investments and personnel decisions, but the Kenyan Drake signing was still an especially dumbfounding move.New Orleans stands out as an excellent landing spot. With Alvin Kamara’s future uncertain after he was arrested and charged with battery resulting in substantial bodily harm in February, the Saints could use a versatile pass-catching back with explosiveness."

NOLA Saints have reason to entertain a trade for Raiders RB Kenyan Drake

In the proposed trade, the Saints would hypothetically give up their 2023 fifth-round pick for Drake, which isn’t much and arguably is worth it for the 27-year-old journeyman.

Whereas free agent options will obviously be cheaper, Drake offers more reliable experience having floated from team to team for the last six years in the league. Originally drafted by Miami in 2016, Drake has mainly served as a backup and has started only a handful of games each season, yet Drake still shows plenty of potential to flourish under the right conditions.

In 2021, Raiders’ Josh Jacobs was the de facto RB1 of the team but Jacobs’ injuries led to Drake getting more snaps than expected; Drake finished with 254 rushing yards and two touchdowns averaging 4.0 yards per game in 12 games.

Behind the Las Vegas’ shaky O-line, Drake put together a middling performance, but he could be in for a career-best season with the New Orleans Saints in 2022. This offseason, the Raiders have shown a disturbing lack of faith in Drake by acquiring multiple backup running backs, not to mention that trading (as opposed to cutting) Drake at this point would save Las Vegas a good chunk of money.

This appears to be a low-risk, low-reward trade that nonetheless plugs a crucial roster hole for New Orleans, and the Saints would be wise to get a deal done.

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Of course, the hope is that Kamara won’t miss any games this upcoming season, but NOLA needs to be fully prepared for the worst-case scenario.