Saints Would Have Considered Patrick Mahomes at 11
Updated May 8, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
One of the most active teams in the 2017 NFL Draft was the New Orleans Saints, as they had two picks on the first day of the draft and four selections on Day 2. The Saints filled a lot of needs on their roster, including beefing up their defense while also adding a few more talents to the offensive side of the ball. One need that will carry over to the 2018 NFL Draft is finding the eventual replacement for future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. The 38-year old Brees is still playing at a high level, but the Saints scouted the quarterbacks hard and have been on the lookout for a player they are passionate about to develop behind Brees. With that in mind, sources with the Saints tell WalterFootball.com that New Orleans had Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes II in consideration for the 11th-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Mahomes didn't get to the Saints, as the Chiefs jumped to the 10th spot in a trade with the Bills in order to take Mahomes. If Mahomes had gotten to New Orleans' pick, sources say they easily could have taken him. As the draft unfolded, the final three players under discussion before being on the clock for their pick were Mahomes, Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, and Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore. With Mahomes off the board, the Saints went with Lattimore to give them a badly needed No. 1 cornerback.
Hooker would have helped the Saints' defense, but New Orleans already has young safety talent in Vonn Bell and Kenny Vaccaro. The 2017 draft was strong at safety, and New Orleans was able to draw on that strength with second-round safety Marcus Williams from Utah. The Saints have lacked a No.1 cornerback, and in a division with Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Kelvin Benjamin, filling that cover corner need took precedent over a third safety.
The Saints also held the 32nd-overall pick in the first round after trading Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. Sources say New Orleans went with Wisconsin offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk there because he was the highest-rated player available and the team feels it can never have enough good offensive line talent to make Sean Payton's offense work. Ramczyk could replace aging right tackle Zach Strief quickly, as Strief will turn 34 in September.
While the Saints didn't come away with Mahomes to be their understudy to Brees, they feel optimistic that the 2018 quarterback class could be yield a number of options so New Orleans could come away with their future starting quarterback next spring.