The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and it can't get here soon enough. The COVID-19 threat around the world has caused things to look a lot different, and the hope is that we can get back to some type of normalcy in the next few months. While the draft will undoubtedly look very different this season, that doesn't mean things change for teams.
The New Orleans Saints have shown an aggressive tendency to trade up over their draft history under Sean Payton. While we looked at a collective cloud of targets that could be there for them when they select at 24th overall the other day, we now move on to potential targets that the Saints could trade up for. Some are more realistic than others, and it's hard to see New Orleans move up to be able to draft these guys, but it's sure to make you wonder.
As a Top 5-7 prospect, the Clemson linebacker is sure to make an absolute impact as a starter for whatever team drafts him. He's really a Jack of all trades as a defender, being able to matchup against just about any opposing threat. To say that he will become a game-changer at the next level is probably and understatement, and it's not like the Saints couldn't use a stellar linebacker.
Lamb most likely projects from the No. 7-12 range, but most view him as the best wide receiver in a very talented class. The former Oklahoma Sooner is a big-play threat in any area of the passing game. He's one of those players who will benefit tremendously from a quarterback that trusts him and can put the ball in a space where only he can get it. He's elusive, electric, and his strength is impressive. Look for other teams to trade up to get him, but he'd be an absolute home run for the Saints.
Most everyone knows how special Tua Tagovailoa is from his time at Alabama, but he won't be the first quarterback selected in the draft. That honor will absolutely go to Joe Burrow. He most likely will be the second quarterback to be drafted, as his college tape is extremely impressive. Naturally, teams who look at taking him will have likely done extensive homework on his hip injury, but things look promising. He's an exciting dual-threat quarterback who can hurl the ball with ease.
There's a chance Herbert could be the second quarterback off the board, but at worst case he should be the third one taken. He's extremely talented, but probably not on the level of dual-threat that Tagovailoa can be. Still, Herbert can make any throw and many will fall in love with the 6-foot-6 stature. Overall, his play was inconsistent during his time at Oregon. He has the opportunity to be a starter from the beginning, and should be able to get there quickly.
Jedrick Wills Jr.
Willis is a pure mauler that has very desirable agility and traits as a future offensive tackle in the NFL. He's arguably the top offensive line prospect of the draft, drawing heavy comparisons to Jason Peters. He'll be a tremendous asset in the run game, and will show major athleticism at the next level. It won't be surprising to see him as the first lineman off the board.
Wirfs is absolutely in the Top 1-2 conversation for offensive linemen in this draft. He should have little to no issues playing at the next level, and could play as a left or right tackle, or kick inside as a guard. His wrestling background is evident in watching his tape, as he's able to toss aside and beat defenders with ease. If something crazy were to happen that'd see the Saints move on from one of their offensive linemen via a trade, then you might could see a play for one of the top guys in Wirfs.
For a big man, he sure can move. Depending on where you look, at worst he should be the fourth offensive lineman taken in the draft. He'll easily be a left or right tackle in the NFL, and should make tons of blocks that will standout on film. The only real knocks on him would be his pass protection isn't top-notch, and his opposition sample size at Louisville isn't something that leaps out at you. His ideal landing spot is landing with a team that can polish up his technique. Once he does that, he could be borderline unstoppable.
The extremely talented Alabama wide receiver figures to go in the Top 15. While it doesn't seem totally realistic for the Saints to move into that space to try to get Jeudy, there's a sweet spot in the draft that might tempt them. If Jeudy falls past pick No. 17 or 18, then that is when you might consider trading ahead of other teams. Between Jeudy and Lamb, they are easily the best two wideouts in this draft. Jeudy can run any route that's asked of him and make defenders look downright silly. He's a total WR1.