Will the Saints have the chance to trade up and select the best tackle in the draft?

The New Orleans Saints will likely take an offensive tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft. Could they move up and take the first tackle off the board?
NFL Combine
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With the 2024 NFL Draft in over a week, everyone believes they know what the New Orleans Saints will do in the first round of the draft. The expectation is that the Saints will use the 14th-overall pick to select an offensive tackle. Between Andrus Peat being a free agent, Trevor Penning’s slow development, and Ryan Ramczyk’s knee injury, the offensive line could be undergoing a significant overhaul.

Drafting a top prospect from this talented tackle class could be a big step in the direction of filling in the holes on the line. Now the question is which tackle will New Orleans select. Considering that the Saints have the 14th-overall pick, and the fact that offensive tackle is viewed as a priority position, New Orleans may have to take the second- or third-best tackle in the class. However, that’s not a problem, because, again, this is an extremely deep tackle class.

But, it’s reasonable to ask if the Saints will have the chance to select the best tackle in the class. Many people consider that to be Notre Dame’s Joe Alt. Alt is projected to go as early as the top five, no later than the top 10. That’s why he hasn’t been linked to New Orleans, who isn’t on the clock until pick 14. However, a recent mock draft has the Saints selecting Alt.

Tyler Forness, in a recent mock draft for The Sporting News, projected New Orleans trading up to pick No. 9 to draft Joe Alt.

Saints trade up for Joe Alt in recent mock draft

Forness’ mock draft had an early run of quarterbacks and wide receivers. The first player selected that wasn’t a quarterback or receiver was edge defender Laiatu Latu at No. 8. With all of the tackles still available at No. 9, Forness had New Orleans sending the Chicago Bears picks 14, 45, and 190: in exchange for No. 9. That would allow the Saints to select the consensus top tackle Joe Alt.

Alt would certainly be great in New Orleans, but this would be a bad trade for the Saints. The team has too many needs to be giving picks away, especially when they could draft a different pro-ready tackle just a few spots later. In this mock draft, New Orleans would move up to select Alt, then the team won’t be on the clock until the fifth round. The Saints would be better off selecting the tackle that falls to them at 14 and keeping their second-round pick.