NFL Hot Press: Quarterback in Play for Saints in First Round

Quarterback in Play for Saints in First Round

Updated April 23, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Over the past few seasons, the New Orleans Saints have put in a lot of work on scouting the quarterbacks in each draft class. Head coach Sean Payton has always been focused on evaluating the quarterback talent and keeping on the lookout for the eventual replacement for Drew Brees. Thus, it isn’t surprising that New Orleans put a lot of time into working out the top quarterback prospects in this draft class. Brees is 38 years old and will be a free agent after the 2018 season, so perhaps this is the year that New Orleans drafts his replacement.

Sources with the Saints tell that taking a quarterback with one of New Orleans first-round picks is possible.

The Saints have two first-round selections at picks 11 and 32 after trading wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. Sources say that Payton likes all four of the top quarterback prospects (check out our 2017 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospect Rankings.) While taking a quarterback is possible, it sounded as if it was more unlikely than likely. Many don’t feel these quarterback prospects are worthy of being high first-rounders, and the Saints feel they are not far from being a playoff contender if the defense can quickly catch up to the offense. 

The Saints could take another stab at making a run to the playoffs with Brees still playing at a high level. Using their early selections on defensive talent would certainly help Brees’ chances of doing that. However, if the right quarterback is there, the Saints believe the importance of the quarterback position outweighs everything else and securing their long-term future at the most critical position could cause them to take a signal-caller in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Going into the draft, it sounds unlikely, but possible.