How the New Orleans Saints Can Use Their New Draft Picks

Saints Draft Picks
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The New Orleans Saints did it again, aggressively swapping draft picks with the Philadelphia Eagles. While this move might have been an overpay, the Saints now have two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. With the draft being mere weeks away, let’s take a look at what New Orleans could do with their new draft selections.

READ MORE: Can Jameis Winston Win A Super Bowl?

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What the New Orleans Saints Could Do With Their Draft Picks

1. Get A Quarterback

Jameis Winston is a fine quarterback, but he’s nobody’s idea of a franchise savior. The former first-overall pick is under contract for the next two seasons and is certainly competent enough to start, but he shouldn’t stop the team from looking for a young upgrade.

The Saints now have the 16th and 19th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they might have to package those selections in order to get their quarterback of choice. Malik Willis is widely considered the best quarterback in this draft class, and there is some speculation he could go off the board with the second-overall pick.

New Orleans does not have the resources to trade that high, and they probably don’t have what it takes to make a selection before the Carolina Panthers at six. However, they could easily move up to the seventh-overall pick and leapfrog the quarterback-needy Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks to draft somebody like Sam Howell or Desmond Ridder.

While this would be a bit of a reach, it’s important to remember that the NFL Draft is an inexact science. Mitchell Trubisky went ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes, and Sam Darnold went ahead of Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. Until you find your franchise quarterback, you should never stop looking for him.

2. Get Wide Receivers

If the Saints decide not to pursue a quarterback, then they need to make life easier for Jameis Winston. While this might not be the best quarterback class in this world, this is a fantastic time to need a wide receiver or two.

Right now, the only truly proven pass-catching commodity on the roster is Michael Thomas, and he’s spent most of the past two seasons injured. It’s anyone’s guess if he’ll return to full strength and look like his old self in 2022. Even if he does, the Saints desperately need someone opposite Thomas to take away some defensive pressure.

There really isn’t a consensus WR1 in this class, which means that at least one of Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Drake London, Treylon Burks, and Chris Olave should be on the board. Williams, in particular, would be a great fit, as his unique ability to test a defense downfield would mesh perfectly with Winston’s rocket arm and aggressive tendencies. Stylistically, he’s similar to Brandin Cooks, and we’ve all seen how good he can be in this type of offense.

3. Find An Offensive Tackle

The New Orleans Saints have had one of the best offensive lines in football over the past few years, but it will be hard to maintain that elite level of play without Terron Armstead. The cornerstone left tackle signed with Miami in free agency, leaving the Saints desperate to find another answer at the position.

Fortunately, this is a solid class for offensive linemen. Currently, three tackles are projected to go in the top 10, and the Saints have the resources to trade up for one of them if they start to fall in the draft. However, trading up for a non-quarterback is risky, and the best move might be to let the draft come to them.

Assuming that Ikem Enwonu, Evan Neal, and Charles Cross are all gone by the time the Saints are on the clock, then they should go after Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa. Penning, while not quite as good as the three aforementioned tackles, he is still an absolute freak of nature with ridiculous strength, long arms, and a physical style of play. While he’d obviously be a downgrade from Armstrong, he should be able to step in and start from Day 1 while providing adequate protection in the pass and run game.

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