New Orleans Saints Draft Needs

After going “all-in” on the 2018 season for a title, the Saints are left with a bare cupboard in terms of 2019 draft picks. They traded away their 2019 first-round choice for talented edge rusher Marcus Davenport, their 2019 third-round choice for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and their 2019 fourth-round choice for cornerback Eli Apple. While all three trades made sense at the time and still appear to be quality moves, the Saints are left with one pick in the top four rounds –– the 62nd overall pick, with which to supplement a talented roster. Outlined below are three positions the Saints might look to add to in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Tight End

The Saints offense was short on weapons in the 2018 season, relying heavily upon Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Drew Brees recently turned 40 and the Saints need to think about adding weapons to make life easier for his successor. The most prolific Saints’ offenses typically featured very solid play at the position in Jeremy Shockey and Jimmy Graham. They have definitely missed the red zone weapon/middle of the field threat since Graham was traded in 2014. In addition, Drew Brees only attempted 6 passes over 30 yards in Weeks 1-16. This may be because of deep threat Ted Ginn’s absence from Week 5-15, or it may be evidence of Brees’ waning deep ball ability. The latter of the two was certainly highlighted in the playoffs. With the Saints throwing more short and intermediate passes Brees could certainly benefit from a tight end to target in the middle of the field and take some pressure off of Kamara and Thomas, especially in the red zone. Keep an eye on Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. (whose father was selected by the Saints in 1993) and Ole Miss’ Dawson Knox.

Wide Receiver

As previously stated, the Saints need to give Drew Brees more weapons as well as set his successor up for success. They added Cameron Meredith in free agency and Tre’Quan Smith in the third round, but Meredith’s health is a huge question mark and Smith had an up-and-down rookie year. Ted Ginn will be a free agent after the 2019 season and turns 34 in April. The Saints would be wise to add another weapon to complement Michael Thomas and could look to do so in the draft. It would have been interesting to see the Saints make a move for Golden Tate, but they badly needed a second cornerback and did not have the draft capital to pull off both moves. Look for the Saints to go back to the Ohio State well with blazer Parris Campbell or look at a dynamic slot option such as Deebo Samuel.


This spot could easily go towards adding depth to the interior offensive line or cornerback, but since this is an early look at draft prospects and the Saints have very little draft capital, so let’s have some fun. The quarterback class in the 2019 draft is weak compared to past years. It is headlined by one-year starter Dwayne Haskins and top ten MLB draft choice Kyler Murray. Sean Payton has never started a quarterback other than Drew Brees in his time with the Saints and has not drafted a quarterback higher than the seventh round since 2015 when Garrett Grayson was drafted. Taysom Hill is certainly a dynamic athlete but does not have the accuracy or consistency to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and Teddy Bridgewater is a free agent. If the Saints want to continue their run of success under Sean Payton, they will prioritize accuracy and ability to process when looking for Drew Brees’ successor. This quarterback class is certainly underwhelming so it will be a surprise if the Saints do add one, but keep Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew in mind.

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