So the New Orleans Saints made a head-scratching trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
For those who could not locate a slide rule and a sheet of scratch paper, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has you covered. Philadelphia received the No. 18 pick, the No. 101 pick and the No. 237 pick in 2022, a 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick from the Saints. So they are getting five picks: Three this spring, one in 2023 and one in 2024. Now let’s see what the Saints picked up.
New Orleans acquired the No. 16 pick, the No. 19 pick and the No. 194 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Armed with two top-20 picks, the Saints are now in position to potentially trade up and draft a quarterback. They could sit back and eat some W’s with Jameis Winston this season, but the franchise must replace Drew Brees if they want to stay relevant for the better part of the decade.
So if the Saints are thinking about a quarterback, which signal-callers make the most sense?
New Orleans Saints: 3 QB draft targets after trade with Philadelphia Eagles
QB Liberty Flames
Malik Willis projects as the first quarterback to be coming off the board this year
While the two first-round picks the Saints got from the Eagles might be enough to move into the top five and draft Malik Willis out of Liberty, it still may take another pick or two to land the most talented quarterback prospect in this year’s draft class. Though some may argue that Willis is not yet pro-ready, he clearly has the highest football ceiling of any signal-caller turning pro this spring.
In theory, Willis would serve as Winston’s backup for a year, while getting acclimated to the NFL and Pete Carmichael Jr.’s scheme. The Saints have a strong roster outside of quarterback, so they will have the necessary talent to bring out the best in him in his second season in the league. In a way, the Saints could be moving up to draft him like the San Francisco 49ers did with Trey Lance.
The challenging part here for the Saints is they have to get to No. 5 to leapfrog two division rivals picking ahead of them: The Carolina Panthers at No. 6 and Willis’ hometown Atlanta Falcons at No. 8. Given that the Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans, the New York Giants and the New York Jets all have multiple first-round picks this year, another big trade here would be incredibly complicated.
The Saints have the ammo to get into the top five, but they must find the right trade partner first.