In the Potential 2018 NFL Draft Trades series, I've been examining the Bills moving up thus far. I called for a Bills-Colts trade in the debut (guess that's not happening!), then discussed a Bills-Giants NFL Draft Trade, which I think has a good chance of occurring.
Let's discuss a trade not involving the Bills. The Saints, this time, will be the team trading up.
New Orleans needs a successor for Drew Brees. The team was going to take Patrick Mahomes last year, but the Chiefs traded up one spot ahead of them and snatched the Texas Tech quarterback before the Saints got the chance.
Things worked out extremely well for New Orleans because the franchise walked away with a legendary draft class. However, the need for a signal-caller to succeed Drew Brees is paramount. Brees is entering the final year of his 30s. Brett Favre had an MVP season at 38, yet completely fell off at 39, which could easily happen to Brees this season. There's also a chance that Brees could have two or three more strong seasons, but time will only tell if that turns out to be the case.
The Saints need to be prepared for Brees' impending regression, whenever that may be. However, they have the 27th-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and all five first-round quarterbacks could be off the board by then. And yes, Bill Polian, there are five, and one of them is not a future NFL receiver.
Because New Orleans saw the Chiefs and Texans have success moving up for quarterbacks last April, the team may copy that tactic and trade for Lamar Jackson. I think we can assume that Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield will all be off the board by No. 11 overall. If so, the Cardinals could be interested in Jackson. And even if they aren't, the Saints may think they are. Thus, No. 15 overall because a pressure point for a quarterback, meaning the Saints will have to jump Arizona. The Packers could be interested in trading down.
So, what would the deal be between the two teams? Here it is:
Here are some potential options for the Packers at 27:
Wide Receiver: Calvin Ridley, Alabama; D.J. Moore, Maryland. A wide receiver has to be in play in the wake of Jordy Nelson's release.
Guard: Will Hernandez, UTEP. The Packers could stand to improve the interior of their offensive line, and Will Hernandez would make a lot of sense for them at No. 27 overall.
Rush Linebacker: Sam Hubbard, Ohio State; Harold Landry, Boston College. Clay Matthews is getting older, and the Packers need a depth edge rusher for the present and a starter for the future.
Linebacker: Rashaan Evans, Alabama; Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State. Ted Thompson refused to devote significant resources to this position. Perhaps the new general manager will take a different approach.
Cornerback: Jaire Alexander, Louisville; Joshua Jackson, Iowa; Donte Jackson, LSU; Carlton Davis, Auburn; Mike Hughes, Central Florida; Isaiah Oliver, Colorado. This position is most likely to be addressed. The Packers had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last year, and it'll only be worse in 2018 with Damarious Randall gone.
Safety: Justin Reid, Stanford; Ronnie Harrison, Alabama. Morgan Burnett was a huge loss. The Packers will need to find some way to replace him.
Let me know what you think! Who would win this trade? I've set up a poll below, and you can comment as well.
In the meantime, I wanted to run through what the 2018 NFL Draft would look like if this trade were to happen. I've used my current 2018 NFL Mock Draft as a template:
1. Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
3. Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
4. Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
5. Broncos: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
6. Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
7. Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
8. Bears: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
9. 49ers: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
10. Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
11. Dolphins: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
12. Giants: Marcus Davenport, DE, UT-San Antonio
13. Redskins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
14. Saints: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
15. Cardinals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
16. Ravens: Da'Ron Payne, NT, Alabama
17. Chargers: Vita Vea, NT, Washington
18. Seahawks: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
19. Cowboys: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
20. Lions: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
21. Bengals: James Daniels, C, Iowa
22. Giants: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
23. Rams: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
24. Panthers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
25. Titans: Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
26. Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
27. Packers: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
This seems like a sweet deal for both teams. The Saints can obtain their next franchise quarterback without surrendering a first-round pick next year. Jackson needs to sit a season or two anyway to fix his mechanical issues. Besides, he would learn a ton from Drew Brees.
Meanwhile, the Packers are able to obtain additional, much-needed resources to improve their defense, offensive line and receiving corps.
Potential Saints-Packers Trade Poll
What do you guys think? Should the Saints and Packers pull the trigger on this trade?