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New Orleans Saints looking to trade up in NFL Draft, 3 potential moves

The New Orleans Saints are usually aggressive when it comes to making trades during the NFL Draft. Selecting 28th overall Thursday night, there’s a chance that they might continue with that MO.

New Orleans is said to be high on some of the top quarterbacks in the draft class. It also has a need at cornerback. Unfortunately, general manager Mickey Loomis and Co. are not in a great position to add a top-end talent near the end of Round 1.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, this could lead to a dramatic trade up the draft board for the New Orleans Saints when things get going in Cleveland.

Rapoport went on to note that a trade-up scenario doesn’t necessarily mean that the Saints are targeting a quarterback. First off, they have Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill set to compete for the starting job in 2021. Secondly, moving up for a quarterback would likely require getting into the top 10. That might be too high of a price to pay from the 28th selection. Regardless, here’s a look at some scenarios.

Who will be the best QB from the 2021 NFL Draft?

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New Orleans Saints trade up with the Philadelphia Eagles, draft top cornerback

New Orleans Saints NFL Draft: Jaycee Horn
Oct 12, 2019; Athens, GA, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Israel Mukuamu (24) reacts with defensive back Jaycee Horn (1) after intercepting a pass against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first overtime at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Saints trade 28th pick, future first-round pick and third-round selection for 12th pick

There’s been some talk of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman looking to either move up or down from 12 depending on how the board shakes out. Remember, he already traded down from six while picking up an additional first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Another move down could net Philadelphia even more draft capital to build up a disappointing roster.

As for New Orleans, the idea here would be for Sean Payton and Co. to land either Patrick Surtain II from Alabama or South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn at 12. Experts are split between the two when it comes to analyzing the top corner in the draft. Both would fit the Saints’ scheme to a T and give coordinator Dennis Allen another potential shutdown guy opposite Marshon Lattimore.

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New Orleans Saints make minor trade for cornerback help

New Orleans Saints trade up for Caleb Farley
Oct 13, 2018; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Caleb Farley (3) tight end Chris Cunningham (85) and wide receiver Phil Patterson (8) celebrate with fans after a win against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium. The Hokies won 22-19. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Saints trade 28th pick, third-round pick and future third-round selection to the Chicago Bears for 20th pick

If general manager Mickey Loomis finds it too expensive to move up for Surtain or Horn, there’s another avenue the Saints could look at. That would include moving into the high 20’s for either Greg Newsome II or a divisive cornerback prospect in Caleb Farley. For my money, Farley would be the target here. He was considered a top-10 pick before having to undergo multiple back surgeries pre-draft.

This would also make sense from Chicago’s perspective. The team’s ownership group might limit what its embattled decision-makers do in a trade-up scenario. Rather, general manager Ryan Pace and Co. move down several spots in the first round while picking up two third-round picks and still being able to add a potential quarterback of the future at the end of Round 1. The targets here would be Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond or Davis Mills.

Read More: 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Expert Picks & Analysis on Round 1 Prospects

New Orleans Saints pull off shocking trade, add first-round quarterback

Justin Fields to 49ers NFL Draft buzz rapidly growing
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Saints trade 28th pick, third-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and 2023 first-round pick to the Denver Broncos for the ninth pick

This would be pretty similar to the blockbuster NFL Draft day trade back in 2017 that included the Kansas City Chiefs trading up from 27 to 10th overall in order to nab eventual NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. However, the Saints would have to add another first-round pick to the mix given just how the market has played out this spring.

We already know that New Orleans is high on the top quarterbacks in the class. Whether it’s Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, a potential blockbuster trade up the board could make sense here. As for the Broncos, they just made a move for Teddy Bridgewater and have a ton of different avenues they could pursue. Acquiring this type of draft capital would enable new general manager George Paton to be proactive in adding a potential franchise quarterback down the line. It almost makes too much sense.