A former top-five draft pick is named as a must-sign free agent for Saints

As the NFL prepares for the NFL Draft and free agency, a former top pick is considered to be a player the New Orleans Saints need to sign.

Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have been clearing cap space every day of the offseason. By the time 2024 free agency starts on March 13, the Saints will be under the salary cap and ready to make some moves. After going 9-8 last season, finishing with the same record as the NFC-South winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans is only a few moves away from being able to separate from the rest of the division.

One expert believes that one of those few moves should be targeting a former top draft pick. Aaron Schatz, in a recent piece for ESPN, named one important signing that each team needs to make. For the Saints, Schatz suggested that the team needs to sign Chase Young.

Chase Young named an important free agent the Saints should sign

Schatz detailed how New Orleans struggled to get after the quarterback, calling edge rusher the team’s biggest need:

"The biggest need here is pretty obvious, as New Orleans ranked 31st in pass rush win rate and 31st in adjusted sack rate. There are several strong free agent edge rushers, and the Saints need to find one who fits their budget."

Aaron Schatz

Schatz went on to say that signing Chase Young to a one-year prove it deal could be the best option for the team. Young was drafted with the second-overall pick by Washington in the 2020 NFL Draft. He had an incredible rookie season, but has since been impacted by injuries.

His time with the Commanders came to an end last season when he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, and despite making a Super Bowl appearance, Young didn’t improve his free agency stock while with the 49ers. He finished the 2023 season with 25 tackles, seven for a loss, and 7.5 sacks. Young still flashes his talent, but not consistently enough for a team to give him a big deal this offseason.

That could result in him signing a prove-it deal. If the Saints can offer him a contract that he’s willing to accept, they certainly should. Young could help improve the pass rush regardless, and if he starts to get back to his best form, New Orleans would have a quality player for a tremendous bargain deal.