DAT’s DAVIS: Saints Make An Aggressive Trade With The Philadelphia Eagles, Obtaining Two First-Round Picks For 2022
The off-season for the New Orleans Saints, up to this point, has been fairly quiet for the most part. With the exception of bringing back some key players to their defense such as DB P.J Williams & DT Shy Tuttle, along with some free agent signings such as DB Marcus Maye & DE/DT Kentavious Street, the Saints have done next to nothing in terms of being aggressive to address other positions of need. That is, until Monday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. Saints receive the 16th overall, 19th overall, and 194th overall (6th round pick) for the 2022 NFL Draft. In exchange, New Orleans has traded away their 18th overall, 101st overall (compensatory 3rd-round pick), 231st overall (7th round pick), a 2023 first round pick, & a 2024 second round pick. While the Eagles continue to load up on draft picks for the long term, setting themselves up nicely to obtain premium players in both 2022 & 2023, the Saints still have a 2nd-round pick, one of their 3rd-round picks, and a fourth-round pick in their back pocket for this year. Considering the fact that New Orleans still has a roster ready to win right now, in a weakened NFC conference, this trade objectively works out well for both clubs.
Dennis Allen recently commented on the state of the wide receiver room for the Saints. Stating that he would prefer to build through the draft, & simply augment through free agency. This trade move coincides with that philosophy, as they jump one spot ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers, who are also in need of a big play wide receiver.
There are many ways this team could use their two first round picks. If I had to guess, I’d say the Saints keep both picks in their pockets, and use them to take a WR/OT combo in that specific order. Recent history shows that the Saints haven’t had as much success with their first round selections; however, that was all under former head coach Sean Payton, who preferred finding hidden gems at relatively cheap prices. Dennis Allen is potentially a different story. Since 2017, New Orleans has passed up on several, talented receivers & have since relied on UDFAs / Free Agent signings. They cannot use that formula anymore, not in today’s league. They also must surround Jameis Winston with as much offensive talent as possible.
A few names of interest that could help the Saints win now if they do decide to keep those picks in their pocket: Ohio State WR Chris Olave, Alabama WR Jameson Williams, Mississippi State OL Charles Cross, UNI OT Trevor Penning, Arkansas WR Treylon Burks, & Penn State WR Jahan Dotson. A combination of any of these two names could set the Saints up to be a dominant offense.
This also tells us that more moves are potentially on the way for the Saints. Having two first round picks in the first-round gives them a lot of leverage for any potential trade negotiations for any players they may be eyeing. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens from here, but for right now, I absolutely love this sense of urgency & aggression by Dennis Allen, Mickey Loomis, & the Saints organization.