New Orleans Saints are among the QB mystery in an unpredicted NFL draft – New Orleans Saints blog

METAIRIE, La. – Has there ever been less consensus on where the top two quarterback prospects will land in the NFL draft?

Depending on your mock draft of choice, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny PickettAre projected anywhere between No. From No. 2 to No. 20. Und das? New Orleans SaintsPicks 16 and 19 put you right in the middle of the mystery.

Signing quarterbacks Jameis WinstonAnd Andy DaltonIn free agency, they may be happy to take the veteran route. Their. intriguing trade for an extra first-round pickIt opened up a new world of possibilities.

Not only do they have the collateral to move up in this year’s draft if they choose, but they almost certainly ruled out the possibility of drafting a top quarterback in 2023 by trading away next year’s first-rounder.

Even former coach Sean Payton acknowledged that New Orleans’ trade heightened the possibility of a quarterback trade — though he insisted he has no insider knowledge.

“Without any information, I'm going to say when a trade like that happens it's either to gain picks, I think like what they're doing, or it's to go further north for a quarterback. We have to think that way,” Payton said while participating in a Zurich Classic charity event this week. “I wouldn't be surprised to see those two packaged.”

New Orleans could trade those picks for an offensive tackle, wide receiver or other type of player.

The Saints may choose to draft a quarterback at 16, 19, and 49 as they have the capital to do so.

Here are some examples of quarterbacks that they might target in each scenario.

They can trade up

It’s possible Willis or Pickett could fall. The Saints would need to trade up to ensure they have their top choice, possibly all the way to the top five before two division rivals: Pickett and the Carolina PanthersAnd Atlanta Falcons.

“I don’t think they made that trade with the intention of moving up for a quarterback or even using one of those two on a quarterback,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay speculated — but he acknowledged it’s almost impossible to pin down each team’s quarterback plans.

“What’s wild about this year’s class — more so than any previous year that I can remember — is the difference of opinions when I get off the phone with one guy in the league versus the next guy. And I’m not just talking about scouts, I’m talking general managers, guys who are making the decisions.

“I have one team saying they like [Ole Miss’] Matt CorralAs the No. 1 quarterback. I’ve had two or three teams say that they like [Cincinnati’s Desmond]Ridder more. I’ve had some teams say that they like Malik Willis most, and then I’ve had some teams say that he’s the fourth-best quarterback in this class. Pickett is often either 1 oder 2.

“The only thing that’s kind of consistent is that everyone — myself included — agrees that they’re more mid to late first-round prospects.”

ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid agreed with McShay that all of this year’s prospects would rank behind the top five in last year’s class. But Reid has consistently predicted Willis and Pickett will go higher than most projections because “there’s always that ‘quarterback tax’ I like to call it.”

Reid has Willis No. He has Willis No. Most analysts agree Willis has a high potential ceiling.

Meanwhile, analysts Greg Cosell and Matt Bowen agreed on ESPN’s NFL Matchup that Pickett is the most poised to step into an NFL offense right away. And Bowen’s description sounded like one that fits New Orleans’ past tendencies under Payton and remaining offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.

“You talk about an offense he fits in the National Football League, it’s one built on timing and rhythm throws, with West Coast elements,” said Bowen, who recently identified what each top prospect does best.

They should stay put.

If the Saints don’t like Willis or Pickett enough to trade up, they might also pass on both at 16 and 19. But ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said Pickett would be a “good choice at that particular point” and could be in a good position to succeed in New Orleans’ domed stadium and the NFC in general.

A wild-card possibility is that the Saints may have chosen to take an additional first-rounder because they like Ridder or Corral, and wanted the best of both worlds (one development quarterback and one first rounder that assists immediately at another place).

“If they stand pat at 16 or 19, it could be for Desmond Ridder,” Reid said. “There’s a lot of steam right now that the Pittsburgh SteelersAs he, seated behind the Saints No. 20.”

If they wait till Day 2

A quarterback who falls in Round 1 could have value in Round 2. Reid said he would be comfortable drafting Ridder, Corral and North Carolina’s Sam HowellIn any year, Round 2 — not only because of 2022 inflation.

Reid and Howell were paired by Matt Miller, an ESPN analyst. a quarterback-only mock draft – while Miller sent Nevada’s Carson StrongNew Orleans, Round 3.

“I think 49 would probably be the most likely spot (if the Saints draft a quarterback),” McShay said.

But after those top five prospects, McShay said he doesn’t believe any other quarterback “has a chance to be anything more than a good backup.”

If they pass completely

It’s not like New Orleans has to force a quarterback pick. Winston has still got a lot of upside. He showed that in Week 8, last year, he tore his ACL. Dalton is as talented as any backup in league. Taysom HillHe is expected to play a tighter end role but could also return to quarterback in the event of injury. And the Saints can continue to develop last year’s fourth-round pick, Ian Book.

Winston could still thrive if they had the picks early to make an offensive tackle and/or wide receiver.

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