For the first time in fifteen seasons, the New Orleans Saints have a question mark at quarterback. Following the retirement of the NFL's All-Time Leading Passer, Drew Brees, the Saints re-signed QB Jameis Winston and foresee a competition in training camp for the reigns of starting quarterback. But could the Saints add another young gunslinger to the mix in a week's time to battle it out with Jameis and Taysom?
The Saints News Krewe discusses whether or not the Black and Gold should select a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.
The immediate answer leans to no, but you can never count out what Sean Payton is thinking. This season offers us a Jameis Winston vs. Taysom Hill battle for the starting crown, and financially, the Saints are committed to each of them for just this season. So, it could make sense to find one with their eight selections. They don't exactly need a project or someone to sit on the bench because of Trevor Siemian, although he's not a realistic and viable option going into the new season.
That's pretty much how you have to view a quarterback that would get drafted. The Saints would have to have in mind that they would be storing a quarterback on the roster to develop over the season, but question marks arise there because of missing pieces like Drew Brees and Joe Lombardi. It's not impossible for them to bring up the next guy, and it’s hard to see them using some of the top picks in the earlier rounds to do so. You could make the case for it coming later on Day 2 or sometime on Day 3, but it seems like a waste given the immediate and more pressing needs the team has defensively.
Kyle T. Mosley
New Orleans must focus on players who can become immediate players or contributors with their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks. If Kellen Mond (TX A&M) or Kyle Trask (Florida) are players the front-office believes can supplant Winston or Hill after next season - then draft the player of choice in the middle rounds. Otherwise, the Saints can wait until a later round to draft a QB like Sam Ehlinger (Texas) or Feleipe Franks (Arkansas).
But, I wouldn't hold my breath unless someone falls down their draft board and into their laps. They may consider signing a veteran as a backup and carry three on their gameday roster. The team is committed to Winston and Hill.
Coming into the offseason I felt pretty sure that the Saints would use a high draft pick on a QB. I believe that they had confidence in Jameis Winston, I just pictured them wanting to develop a young guy who would be on a rookie contract for the next few years. The way it stands now, I can't see the Saints drafting a quarterback if they truly have the confidence in Jameis to run their system.
If he's playing well midway through the upcoming season, they'll work on a contract extension. If he's not, then they can regroup and focus on selecting one in the 2022 draft and adding another veteran. This can all change if a prospect like Justin Fields or Trey Lance slips to the middle of the 1st round. In that case, I believe New Orleans will try to trade up. Otherwise, I believe that the team will use their 2021 draft picks to fill their defensive needs and bolster depth for another playoff run.
With a quarterback competition looming, what would it say to Winston and Hill if the Saints draft a quarterback on the first two days of the NFL Draft? The answer... that they are simply a "placeholder" or a "bridge" in 2021. I do not think that is the intentions the Saints have for Winston, especially after Sean Payton's public praise for the former first-overall selection. Based on Payton's comments, and Winston's noticeable growth as a leader I truly believe he will be the field general for years to come.
With that being said, I can see New Orleans draft a gunslinger in the 2021 NFL Draft but only on day three (Rounds 4-7). Look at a guy like Texas QB Sam Ehlinger to be selected by New Orleans to be groomed into a solid backup role (i.e Chase Daniel).
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