For the first time in a long time, the New Orleans Saints need to think about their future at quarterback. Following the retirement of Drew Brees, the team currently has Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill battling it out for the starting job. Winston’s had some NFL success, and Sean Payton is in love with Taysom Hill, but neither quarterback profiles as a long-term solution under center. The Saints should add a younger arm into the mix and take a shot on somebody like Stanford’s Davis Mills.
Should the New Orleans Saints Draft Davis Mills?
Depending on what game you watch, Davis Mills can look like a legitimate NFL quarterback or a guy that shouldn’t even sniff a practice squad. This is somewhat expected, as the Stanford product only has 11 career starts to his name. At his best, Mills is a strong-armed passer with the ability to stretch the field, read the defense, and effectively move the offense up and down the field. He processes the field well and gets the ball out right on time when everything is going according to plan. While he’s not mobile, he has the size to stand in the pocket, shake a sack or two, and extend plays like an early career Ben Roethlisberger.
I'm starting to really like Davis Mills. This throw is beautiful. Anticipation and accuracy on full display pic.twitter.com/jkCZ6LAWW2
— Nick Akridge (@PFF_NickAkridge) April 10, 2021
However, at his worst, Davis Mills makes some of the most bone-headed decisions you will ever see. It’s not that he’s inaccurate, the ball generally goes where he wants it to. It’s just that he randomly decides to sling it into triple coverage, and the results are what you expect. This could be a case of him trusting his arm a little too much, but it’s something that will need to change at the next level. Additionally, his internal clock could use some work, as does his ability to manipulate a defense with his eyes.
Ultimately, Mills plays like a quarterback that only had 11 starts in his college career. The talent is there, but he is extremely raw and will need some time to develop. The good news is that most of his flaws are fixable, and Stanford’s obnoxiously conservative offense didn’t play to his strengths. There’s a very real chance that he’s better at the NFL level than he was in college, but he’ll need some time to learn the ropes.
Where Can the Saints Draft Him?
Throughout the majority of the offseason, draft analysts viewed Mills as a third-round quarterback prospect. However, in recent weeks, consensus has apparently risen, with some boards even calling him a first-round quarterback. Mills has some intriguing potential, but he’s far too raw and untested to justify a first-round pick.
Fortunately, we’ve seen this trend before. Every year, there is at least one mid-round quarterback that gets some first-round buzz close to the NFL Draft. Whether it’s Mason Rudolph, Kyle Lauletta, or Will Grier, these quarterbacks tend to get drafted closer to their original expected ranks than their ceiling. Chances are, and any all hype about Mills going off the board in the first round originates from his agent.
As things currently stand, the New Orleans Saints have the 60th, 98th, and 105th overall picks. If Mills is their guy, then the best course of action would be to use the 60th pick to secure his services. That said, New Orleans lost a lot of key players this year, and they might want to use their second-round pick on a player that can contribute right out of the gate. If that’s the case, the New Orleans will probably need to package one of their third-round picks with a later selection to go up and grab Mills. This shouldn’t be an issue, as Sean Payton and company are annually one of the most aggressive teams in the draft.
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