Should Saints be content with not having third or fourth-round picks in the draft?

The New Orleans Saints need to have a big weekend in the 2024 NFL Draft, however, they’ll be challenged by not having any picks in the third and fourth rounds.
Nov 20, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints general manager and executive vice
Nov 20, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints general manager and executive vice / Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL world prepares for the 2024 NFL Draft to start Thursday, the New Orleans Saints are gearing up for what will be an especially important draft for the franchise. The Saints have missed the playoffs the last three seasons but have been pretty close each year. There’s a widespread belief that change could be coming to New Orleans if the team has another mediocre season.

The draft can prevent that from happening. Since cap space kept the Saints from having an explosive free agency, the team will rely on finding productive talent in the 2024 NFL Draft. There’s one problem, though. New Orleans doesn’t have a ton of early picks. The Saints currently posses nine total picks for the draft, but only two are for the first two days.

New Orleans owns a first-round pick, 14th overall, and a second-round pick, 45th overall. After that, the Saints are not set to be back on the clock until the fifth round with the 150th-overall pick. Can New Orleans still have an effective draft without picking in the third or fourth round or will the team need to trade up?

Do the Saints need to trade up in the draft?

Simply put, New Orleans could absolutely put together a great draft class with its current picks. Two selections in the top 50, with four fifth-round picks, two sixth-round picks, and a seventh-round pick, the Saints could definitely put together a great class. They just have to find the right kind of players in the late rounds—something the franchise has done before.

However, that doesn’t mean New Orleans shouldn’t consider trading up. If the Saints see a player that they think is special sliding in the third or fourth round, they should move up and select the player. With so many late-round, and future, picks, the Saints have the capital to maneuver. Additionally, New Orleans is entering a bit of a now-or-never phase. With the contract structures on the team, and the pressure on Dennis Allen and Mickey Loomis, the Saints should definitely be aggressive in the draft. Even if that means sending away future picks.