The Saints could turn to an AFC contender to help address the team’s biggest issue

The New Orleans Saints will try to address most of their problems in the 2024 NFL Draft, but they also could turn to other teams for help.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

On Thursday, April 25, the 2024 NFL Draft will start. The entire football world will watch as teams make prospects’ dreams come true, welcoming them into the National Football League. There will be a ton of excitement from fans, as teams will try to fill their biggest roster holes with talented prospects. Unfortunately, we know the selections aren’t going to work out for everyone.

Some teams will encounter a nightmare scenario where they can’t draft the prospect they were hoping to land, other teams will get who they wanted but the move won’t pan out, and some squads will just have too many needs and not enough picks. The New Orleans Saints can somewhat fit in that last category.

Coming off a 9-8 season, where they were a game away from the playoffs, the Saints have a competent roster. However, the team has question makes at a couple of very important positions. The biggest question marks are at both tackle positions on the offensive line. With Trevor Penning’s lack of development and Ryan Ramczyk’s health, New Orleans could be starting two new tackles on offense next season.

Ideally, the Saints will select a top tackle with the 14th-overall pick, addressing the left tackle spot. But, how will New Orleans move forward if Ramczyk can’t play next season because of his knee injury? Jared Mueller of Dawgs By Nature, a site that covers the Cleveland Browns, recently suggested a solution for the Saints.

Mueller pointed out how Cleveland is facing the unique issue of having too many starting offensive tackles. There’s an easy fix to that issue; trading one of the tackles. With the Saints needing more tackles, they are the perfect trade partner. So which tackle could New Orleans trade for? Mueller suggests veteran Jack Conklin.

Could Saints trade for veteran tackle Jack Conklin?

Conklin tore his ACL and MCL in Week 1 of last season, so Mueller did emphasize that the veteran tackle would have to prove he’s healthy before any deal could be made. When he is healthy, he has proven to be an elite lineman. Drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the eighth-overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Conklin has played in 94 games in his career, starting all of them. Playing four years with the Titans and four with the Browns, Conklin has been named a First-Team All-Pro player twice.

Now, turning 30 in August, Conklin has three years remaining on his contract and he’s due $13.850 million this year, and $15 million in each of the final two years of the deal. That’s certainly not ideal for a Saints teams that already has several high-paid veterans that they are struggling to afford, but New Orleans may be able to work something out. It’ll certainly be something to keep an eye on in the weeks following the draft.