The 45th-overall pick has treated teams well, and Saints are hoping that continues

The New Orleans Saints have the 45th-overall pick in the NFL Draft, and historically, teams have been able to find quality second rounders with the pick.
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / David Eulitt/GettyImages

In the upcoming NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints will have just two picks in the first four rounds. Fortunately, those two picks are in the first and second rounds. The Saints will first be on the clock at pick No. 14, then again at pick No. 45. New Orleans will have to make the most of both picks since the franchise won’t be back on the clock for three rounds.

History seems to be on New Orleans’ side, though. In recent years, teams have been able to find quality players with the 14th-overall pick. However, that may be expected since it is early in the first round. What may not be expected is that a lot of good players have been selected with the 45th pick in recent years as well. That’s a trend that should bode well for the Saints.

Recent 45th-overall picks

The most recent player selected with the 45th pick is already a star in the making. In the 2023 Draft, the Detroit Lions selected defensive back Brian Branch. Many people were shocked to see Branch slide out of the first round, and it didn’t take long to see why. As a rookie, Branch recorded 74 tackles, seven for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble, and three interceptions, including one he took back for a touchdown. He was an important piece of the Lions defense and he looked like he’ll be good for a long time.

In 2022, David Ojabo was selected by Baltimore Ravens, but injuries have led to him playing just five games in two seasons. In 2021, however, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected offensive lineman Walker Little. In three seasons, Little has played in 40 games, starting 17 for Jacksonville.

The year before that, 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted safety Antoine Winfield Jr. with the 45th-overall of pick. Saints fans know how great of a pick that was. In four years, Winfield has established himself as one of the best safeties in football, going to a Pro Bowl and being named First-Team All-Pro. He’s also on the verge of becoming the highest-paid safety in the league.

New Orleans is hoping to find a player that can go on that path. Whether it’s a receiver, defensive back, or an edge defender, chances are that the Saints will land a good player in the second round.