Saints First-Round Draft Pick and Trade History Since 2017

What has the Saints track history been since 2017 when it comes to the first round and what trades have they made?
Nov 5, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen talks to
Nov 5, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen talks to / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The Saints are hardly a stranger to trading in the NFL Draft. They've made multiple trades in the past several years, typically jumping ahead to get what they want. While every trade has not worked out and the verdict is still out on one, New Orleans stays aggressive in their approach. This year, they have the 14th and 45th picks at their disposal, but lack anything in Rounds 3-4. That could most assuredly change. For now, we focus on what the history shows us for the black and gold in terms of their picks and trade history on opening night.

Saints First-Round Draft Selections Since 2017

  • 2023 (29th): Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
  • 2022 (11th): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State | 19th: Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
  • 2021 (28th): Payton Turner, DE, Houston
  • 2020 (24th): Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
  • 2018 (14th): Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  • 2017 (11th): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State | 32nd: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

Of the picks, there's certainly some hits and some really big misses. Last year, New Orleans seemingly nailed their evaluation of Bryan Bresee. Chris Olave has lived up to the hype, while the verdict is still out on Trevor Penning. Payton Turner enters a contract year with the Saints, and there's not much he can do in 2024 to be able to redeem himself for the past several years.

Cesar Ruiz was once a very easy target of criticism for Saints fans, but has emerged in a big way over the past two seasons. For all intents and purposes, Marcus Davenport might have been the biggest draft bust the team has selected on this list. He was a great talent, but injuries prevented him from being on the field.

NFL Mock Draft Simulator: Final Saints 7-Round Selections

Saints Trade History Involving First Round Since 2017

2023: Traded Sean Payton and 2024 3rd Round pick to Broncos for 1st Round pick (No. 29, Bryan Bresee), 2024 2nd Round pick

2022: Traded 1st Round pick (No. 18, Treylon Burks), 3rd Round pick (No. 101, Jeremy Ruckert), 7th Round pick (No. 237, Chase Lucas), 2023 1st Round pick (Darnell Wright), 2024 2nd Round Pick to Eagles for 1st Round pick (No. 16, Jahan Dotson) and 1st Round pick (No. 19, Trevor Penning)

Traded 1st Round pick (No. 16, Jahan Dotson), 3rd Round pick (No. 98, Brian Robinson Jr.), 4th Round pick (No. 120, Brandon Smith) to Commanders for 1st Round pick (No. 11, Chris Olave)

2018: Traded 1st Round pick (No. 27, Rashaad Penny), 5th Round pick (No. 147, Micah Kiser), 2019 1st Round pick (No. 30, Deandre Baker) to Packers for 1st Round pick (No. 14, Marcus Davenport)

2017: Brandin Cooks and 4th Round pick (forfeited) to Patriots for 1st Round pick (No. 32, Ryan Ramczyk) and 3rd Round pick (No. 103, Trey Hendrickson)

Saints Draft Video Coverage

John Hendrix


I officially started covering the New Orleans Saints & other NFL topics in 2011. My work has been featured on various outlets over the years. I worked closely with Skyhorse Publishing in Fall 2018 to update the book, Tales From the New Orleans Saints Sidelines, which filled in all Saints material from the 2013-2017 seasons. Prior to joining Saints News Network, I served as the Managing Editor of SB Nation's Canal Street Chronicles for 3.5 years, and before that with FanSided's Who Dat Dish as the Managing Editor for several years. I have also had experiences of being a freelance Saints reporter for The Sun Herald in Biloxi, MS and a contributing writer for WDSU, a local NBC TV station in New Orleans. I have appeared on a vast amount of TV and Radio shows, both nationally and locally. For tips, comments, or suggestions, please contact me at