Saints could be eyeing top QB prospect with first-round pick?

Saints, NFL Draft
© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints will ride into the 2020 season with Drew Brees as their quarterback, but the front office could reportedly be looking at the 2020 NFL Draft for his long-term replacement.

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, many around the NFL expect former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love to not fall past the Saints with the No. 24 overall pick.

The Saints have done extensive work on this year’s quarterback class, including a video conference with Love in March. Given the team’s plan to move on from Brees after the 2020 season, the team’s interest in top quarterback prospects comes at the right time.

Love’s evaluation around the NFL seems to be mixed. He looked like a potential first-round pick after a breakout season in 2018, but he regressed this past year and struggled with turnovers. After posting a 32-6 TD-INT ratio as a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 quarterback had a 20-17 TD-INT ratio in 2019.

After coming into the offseason viewed as a likely top-50 pick, Love improved his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. He offers prototypical size with above-average athleticism, a rocket arm and a gunslinger mentality. The raw traits make him very intriguing if he’s developed, but he also has issues reading the defenses, making smart decisions and making accurate passes.

If Love is available at the No. 24 pick, he could prove to be a nice value for the Saints as Sean Payton looks for a quarterback to groom for the future. If he isn’t available, the Saints are expected to address other positions and potentially take a chance on a quarterback later in the 2020 NFL Draft.