The New Orleans Saints selected Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but are they really sure he is their guy? The team still needs to find a replacement for Drew Brees as well as sign players at other positions of need.
The “nfl draft 2022 location” is an interesting mystery in the NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints are among those teams that have been left with a lot of questions heading into the draft.
METAIRIE, LA. (WAFB) – Is there a time when there was less agreement on where the top two quarterback prospects in the NFL draft will go?
Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett are expected to go anywhere from No. 2 to No. 20 in several mock drafts. With selections 16 and 19, the New Orleans Saints are smack dab in the thick of the riddle.
The fact that they signed quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton in free agency suggests they are happy to stick with veterans. But then came their fascinating deal for a second-round choice, which opened up a whole new universe of possibilities.
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They not only have the assets to move up in this year’s selection if they so want, but they have virtually surely ruled out the chance of choosing a top quarterback in 2023 by giving up next year’s first-round pick.
Even former coach Sean Payton agreed that New Orleans’ transaction increased the chances of a QB trade, although insisting that he had no secret information.
“Without any information, I’m going to say that when a deal like that occurs, it’s either to acquire picks, which I believe they’re doing, or to go north for a quarterback, which I believe they’re doing.” “We have to think like that,” Payton stated last week while competing in a Zurich Classic charity event. “I wouldn’t be shocked if the two were packed together.”
New Orleans could, of course, package those selections in exchange for an offensive lineman or wide receiver.
And given that they have enough resources to contemplate both short and long term, the Saints might stay put and choose a quarterback at 16, 19, or 49.
In each situation, here are the quarterbacks they might target:
If they make a deal,
It’s probable that Willis or Pickett will be taken out. However, the Saints would have to move up to be confident of getting their first-round pick — maybe all the way to the top five, ahead of two division rivals, the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons.
“I don’t believe they made that deal with the goal of moving up for a quarterback or even utilizing one of those two on a quarterback,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay mused, though he admitted that predicting each team’s quarterback intentions is almost impossible.
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“What’s fascinating about this year’s class — more so than any prior year that I can recall — is the disparity in viewpoints when I get off the phone with one league member versus the next. And I’m not just talking about scouts; I’m talking about general managers, the decision-makers.
“One club has shown interest in [Ole Miss’] Matt Corral as the No. 1 quarterback. Two or three clubs have told me that they prefer [Cincinnati’s Desmond] Ridder. Some clubs have said Malik Willis is their favorite, while others have said he’s the fourth-best quarterback in this class. Pickett is generally a number one or two.
“The one thing that everyone agrees on — including myself — is that they’re more mid- to late-first-round prospects.”
All of this year’s prospects, according to ESPN draft expert Jordan Reid, would rank below the top five in last year’s class. Reid, on the other hand, has constantly forecasted that Willis and Pickett would outperform most predictions because “there’s always that ‘quarterback tax,’ as I like to refer to it.”
Willis is No. 1 on Reid’s list. Willis, according to most observers, has the greatest potential ceiling.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s NFL Matchup experts Greg Cosell and Matt Bowen agreed that Pickett is the best candidate to go directly into an NFL offense. And Bowen’s description sounded eerily similar to what New Orleans has done in the past under Payton and offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr.
“When you speak about an offense he fits in the National Football League, it’s one predicated on timing and rhythm passes, with West Coast components,” Bowen said.
On third down, #Pitt QB Kenny Pickett had 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions last season, according to @NFLMatchup.
@gregcosell examines two third-down plays, demonstrating Pickett’s mobility and ability to throw with precision. pic.twitter.com/N0oYE6QzH4
April 20, 2022 — Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41)
If they don’t move
The Saints may pass on both at 16 and 19 if they don’t like Willis or Pickett enough to trade up. Pickett, though, would be a “solid candidate at that specific juncture,” according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr., and may be in an excellent position to flourish in New Orleans’ domed stadium and the NFC in general.
Another wild-card scenario is that the Saints want the additional first-round choice because they prefer Corral or Ridder and wanted the best of both scenarios (one developmental quarterback and one first-rounder that helps immediately at another position).
“It may be for Desmond Ridder if they stay at 16 or 19,” Reid said. “There’s a lot of buzz right now that the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are now ranked 20th, like him.”
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