The New Orleans Saints may trade up again to draft their franchise quarterback of the future.
The Saints are in possession of the No. 16 and No. 19 picks in the upcoming draft. They gave up their No. 18 pick as part of the package to get the Eagles’ pick at No. 19, as well as the No. 16 pick that came Philadelphia’s way by way of the Carson Wentz trade with the Indianapolis Colts. With the Saints looking like they are up to something, they could be trading up even higher this spring.
NFL insider Jordan Schultz reports New Orleans could use No. 16 and No. 19 in a potential trade package to get into the top 10 to draft Malik Willis out of Liberty or Kenny Pickett out of Pitt. Should they do it?
New Orleans Saints could trade up to draft either Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett
Admittedly, this is not a great quarterback draft. However, Willis and Pickett will go in the first round, almost certainly in the top 10. While it would be especially bold for the Saints to trade up for what would have been the sixth best quarterback in last year’s draft, keep in mind who is picking ahead of them and needs a quarterback: The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers.
That is what this is all about. Atlanta and Carolina do not have quarterbacks of the future on their rosters either. It’s a lot of Sam Darnold, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston playing second, third and fourth fiddle to Tom Brady in the NFC South. However, Willis has massive upside and Pickett offers next to no bust potential. This is why they will be the first two quarterbacks off the board.
To ensure the Saints get the pick of the litter, they will have to trade up to No. 5 to leapfrog Carolina and Atlanta. If they are cool with either of the two, they need to get to No. 7 to get ahead of Atlanta picking at No. 8. Are both quarterbacks going to be perennial Pro Bowlers? Probably not, but the Saints may not want to take a chance and have one of them become a star for a rival team.
The demand for starting quarterbacks will force players like Willis and Pickett to go in the top 10.