The New Orleans Saints could encounter serious offensive line issues in 2022 and should look for starting-caliber options now.
With rookie Trevor Penning out indefinitely due to a torn ligament in his foot, the Saints’ O-line situation could get ugly this season. Veteran James Hurst projects to be the starting left tackle and should recover in time to start Week 1, yet depth behind Hurst is thin.
Penning was supposed to be his backup and potentially move into a starting role over the course of the season; NOLA can elevate offensive tackle Derrick Kelly from the practice squad to share snaps with Hurst, but there’s no guarantee Kelly can make positive contributions in run-blocking and pass protection.
Instead of relying on an unproven player, why not trade for a reliable stopgap?
Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn is reportedly on the trading block, and NOLA should absolutely give New England a call.
In Albert Breer’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, Breer discussed the possibility of New England trading Wynn before the start of the season:
"The Patriots are probably going to trade … someone. The one guy I know definitively that they’ve talked with other teams on is Isaiah Wynn, their first-round pick from 2018. Wynn, though, is on a $10.4 million fifth-year option, which has made it tough to move a guy who, four years after he was drafted, is still seen as a tackle/guard tweener."
NOLA Saints would benefit from extra offensive line depth this season
Wynn, a former first-round pick by the Patriots, started in 33 games at left tackle for New England in the past three years and could develop into a consistent franchise starter under the right circumstances.
Given the trouble brewing in Pats camp, where coaches are apparently trying to move Wynn to the right side, Wynn may be looking for a team where he can play left tackle instead. Enter the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints haven’t adequately filled the hole Terron Armstead left behind earlier this offseason, and Wynn carries more upside than any left tackle option they currently have on the roster,
Heading into 2022, the left tackle position has suddenly become the most unstable position after Penning’s injury, and unless the team wants to rely on a questionable rotation of Hurst and Kelly for the entire season, bringing on a stopgap like Wynn could prove to be a prudent decision.
NOLA is in win-now mode and has all the offensive pieces to make a deep postseason run — except for left tackle. Trading for Wynn would potentially solve a huge problem for the Saints and keep them in the playoff race in 2022.