The New Orleans Saints are reported to be looking to make yet another trade-up in an NFL draft. The news of the Saints seeking to move up should come as no surprise to Saints fans. Sean Payton hasn’t shied away from trading up in previous drafts.
When Payton smells blood with the potential of an NFL prospect, he will make his mark. The Saints head coach traded up for Brandin Cooks, Marcus Davenport, Alvin Kamara, and Mark Ingram. And the list may not end there as the 2021 draft approaches.
Reports are stemming from Charlie Robinson, of Yahoo Sports, that the Saints are interested in trading up for Caleb Farley. Farley, who’s considered one of the top CB prospects, would fill a huge need for the Saints. Payton even stated that the CB position was the lone “must’ area where the Saints needed to improve. Farley is considered likely to slip past the top 10 due to injury concerns, so the Saints may have a strong chance of getting the gifted CB talent if teams stray away from selecting the high talent/injury-prone profile.
Well, are the Saints destined to land Farley? Here are three reasons why Farley will be in a Saints uniform tomorrow night.
Farley will more than likely be on the board at pick 20. The Saints are on the board at pick 28, so that leaves eight teams with a potential interest in the Virginia CB. Luckily, there’s only one team with a dire need at CB: Tennessee Titans.
The Titans are looking to upgrade at CB, but also WR. The Titans will likely not be as aggressive to draft Farley or a CB, like the Saints. The Titans will likely be able to draft a top-notch WR in round one to replace Davis. Even if they want to bulk up the CB spot, they may not give up a lot to CB in round one if they have to lose picks to trade up for one – especially if they can get a gifted WR instead.
It’s also important to note that the CB talent is tight in the draft. Jaycee Horn, Patrick Surtain, Caleb Farley, and Eric Stokes are all near the same caliber. This means that teams early in the draft will be less likely to risk-taking Farley, who has serious injury concerns. Farley tore his ACL back in 2017, then had reoccurring back spasms in 2019. The Saints could have this advantage as other teams may choose to pass on him.
2. CB is the missing link
Not only has Sean Payton stated that CB is the lone must need on the roster, but the acquisiton of a CB completes the puzzle. Even if Drew Brees retired and a few key players left in free agency, the Saints may still be the most complete roster in the league. Yet, they are missing one part: a number two CB.
It used to always seem like the Saints displayed a talented offense, an aggressive pass rush, one very good CB, but they literally lose contests because they routinely bench the CB across from the number one CB. Whether it was Jabari Greer getting injured, or Brandon Browner taking the field, the Saints ended up getting torched as a whole defensive unit due to a porous number two CB. The Saints can’t let that happen, again.
Mickey Loomis has stated that the Saints are still invested in “winning now”, despite Brees retiring. And so far in this off-season, the Saints have stook by Loomis’s promise. Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston were both given new contracts, Marcus Williams was retained, Hendrickson was replaced by Tanoh Kpassagnon to maintain a lethal pass rush rotation, and now the Saints are keen on acquiring Farley.
3. Saints have the draft stock
Despite mock drafts that place Farley outside of the first round, Sean Payton and the close followers of Caleb Farley know he will be a first-round pick. Not only will Farley be a first-round pick, but he will likely be a top 25 pick. Payton knows the Saints are playing Russian roulette by sitting and hoping he’s still on the board. So, they will have to trade up without giving up too much.
Can the Saints afford to give up picks in a smart manner? Yes, they can. New Orleans has two third round picks in this year’s draft in additon to a second round pick. Teams pull off big trades if they are in “win now” mode without even the extra draft compensation. The Saints should and will move an extra pick and likely a future mid round pick to move up to obtain a highly talented player in a “need” positon.