I've been thinking about the Saints draft decision and possible pick in the first round, and I think the Saints are going to trade down into the upper second round. I'm basing this on two general statements from the Saints and some earnest thinking, so bare with me after the jump. It's sane...ish. Trust me.
First of all, the position that most people think the Saints will target is OLB with their first pick. However, there is no consensus on which OLB they'll pick because at no. 32, they all pretty much have equivalent pros and cons. By moving down a few picks, the Saints can guarantee that they can still get one of the LBs that they would have been able to get #32 anyway without significantly changing who they'd pick or what position they would go after.
Secondly, in an article about DT Al Woods, the Saints were cited as being supposedly "concerned that [he] may not be available when they're on the clock in the second round." This shows that they are worried about their 2nd round draft status and that maybe they want more 2nd round picks because getting more first round picks is somewhat out of the question.
Also, Loomis indicated that he believes that the "roughly 24-hour delay between the end of the first round and the beginning of the second should increase trade discussions and interest in the top half of the second round." This statement shows that Loomis might want an early second round pick because they might be overvalued this year. Perhaps, if the cards fall right, the Saints could trade down twice--once to go from #32 to #35-40, and then again because of the artificially high value for early 2nd round picks. I'm not saying that this would be definite if the Saints traded down once, but if I were Loomis, I'd like to have as many options and as much power as possible on the draft days.
Looking at the first ten picks in the 2nd round, only two teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, are in the market for a LB, and thats assuming that the Eagles don't pick Sergio Kindle in the first round or go with a DE instead in the second. So really, moving down anywhere from four to ten spots, picking up another decent pick, and not losing one of the two or three guys that they could or would have picked anyway is a pretty good value. Plus, on the upside, maybe the Saints trade down again from the early 2nd round, pick up a LB like UGA's Rennie Curran, and still get a quality DT, and pick up a few 4th round picks--that's getting a lot of value and picks without losing all that much in return.
If the Rams pick Suh first, then any team still interested in QB would love to have the #32 pick. Specifically, the Jaguars or the Bills (or Browns, who might have to give us their 2 and 3) might be interested in jumping right in front of the Rams 2nd round pick so they can grab the better QB--for instance, McCoy instead of Tebow.
Without a first or second round pick, the Bears might want to get the #32 because they could still get a good RB--and ahead of Detroit, who would be getting a RB with their #34 pick, but I have no idea what kind of compensation the Bears would provide. Also, the Texans might want to move up for the same reason, but with a lower 2nd round pick it wouldn't be as enticing unless they really throw some picks at us.
The Chiefs could also trade with us to make sure that they get a better RB than Detroit--or if they have one of the LBs still available graded much higher than the Saints do, that's still a possibility.
The same could be said for the Eagles, who might want to leap frog the Chiefs in getting a LB/DE tweener--but again, they'd have to grade him much higher than the Saints.
I think there are still tons of scenarios left, but those are some that make some limited sense. Thoughts?