The New Orleans Saints made a significant trade to acquire two first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they could flip these picks for something more.
The Sean Payton era may have come to a close, but his legacy when it comes to trading draft picks is far from over. Last April, Sports Illustrated’s John Hendrix noted that the New Orleans Saints had made 45 deals involving draft picks since 2006, including picks that landed them players like Alvin Kamara, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Davenport, Mark Ingram and Brandin Cooks.
The Saints have proven that they’re far from finished when it comes to bold pick-centric trades, finalizing a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Eagles weeks ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
New Orleans offered their No. 18 pick this year and a first-round pick in 2023 to get the No. 16 pick and the No. 19 pick in the draft, which could mean that the Saints are looking to take two first-round talents to meet dire roster needs — or the Saints are hoping to leverage one of those picks on draft day.
Will the Saints trade again with the picks received from Eagles trade?
The Saints could trade back their picks when draft day comes, but considering their roster needs and limited cap space, this could be a move to get a quarterback prospect to develop behind Jameis Winston.
Or, as Mina Kimes notes, this could be a way of replenishing the team after losing Terron Armstead to the Miami Dolphins while strengthening the wide receiver corps after a year without Michael Thomas.
During the Sean Payton era, the Saints tended not to miss when it came to their first-round draft picks. And since 2006, the Saints had two first-round picks in three different years.
In 2011, the club drafted Cameron Jordan at No. 24 and Mark Ingram at No. 28. In 2015, they drafted Andrus Peat at No. 13 and Stephone Anthony at No. 31. In 2017, the team drafted Marshon Lattimore at No. 11 and Ryan Ramczyk at No. 32.
While the Saints’ needs differ from that of the Eagles, there are some projected Eagles picks that could satisfy the New Orleans roster. FanSided’s Rucker Haringey projected that the Eagles would take CB Kaiir Elam, LB Devin Lloyd, and WR Jameson Williams. PFF expected the Chargers to take Williams, which is what Kimes insinuated in her tweet as the motivation to get No. 16.
So if New Orleans takes Williams at No. 16, they could still get OT Bernhard Raimann at No. 19 while the Eagles take Devin Lloyd with their newly-acquired No. 18 pick.
What this likely changed for the Saints was the opportunity to get an explosive first-round receiver, a critical piece to making them the championship roster of yore.