The conversation comes up every year. It’s not a matter of when now, the time to start preparing for a post Drew Brees-era is likely to come in 2021. The first question to ponder is: can either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston be the guy? The answer remains to be seen on both. Currently, Brees is playing at a high level after shredding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the tune of 38-3. Still, Brees is no doubt coming to the end of a long Hall of Fame career.
No one knows if the final year will be in 2021 or 2022. Drew Brees may not even know for sure. Regardless, New Orleans has plans for the future. The Black and Gold existed before Brees and have to be able to muster up a new face of the franchise coming soon.
Long time ESPN football analyst Todd McShay recently released his first round projections for the 2021 NFL Draft. Five quarterbacks are listed in the first-round and all are underclassmen. The group of five include: Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Justin Fields (Ohio St), Trey Lance (North Dakota St), Zach Wilson (BYU), and Mac Jones (Alabama). Obviously, it’s early in the process, some of the latter names could drop out. Also, there is surely someone out there to make a name for them themselves. Either way, the first two picks likely won’t change. Lawrence and Fields are nearly a lock for the first two picks.
The Saints have a near zero percent of a chance to get either. Still, the thought process of picking in the first-round would be something new under Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton. The highest the Saints picked a quarterback since 2006 was Garrett Grayson in 2015 in the third-round. Everyone knows how that turned out. But now the clock is ticking.
The case can be made for the Saints to pick one of three remaining quarterbacks available. Nevertheless, getting one of those may take the Saints giving up a draft pick or player. Once again, brand new territory if this happens. Furthermore, how the Saints finish surely dictates the mindset of how high the Saints are willing to go. Not to mention, the always ageless Brees factoring into the conversation.
In my opinion, the best bang for the buck is quarterback Zach Wilson from BYU. He’s accurate, throwing it with a 75% accuracy rate. Wilson can sling it too — averaging 11.37 yards per attempt. Currently, Mel Kiper Jr. has Wilson being picked at no. 13th. McShay puts Wilson at no. 16th. Either way, the stock is rising for a guy moving up beneath the radar.
Wilson can throw on the run — with dead on accuracy — showing he’s worth it to be on the Heisman watch. Regardless, of who the Saints go with if any, the offense is going to look a little bit different. Another quarterback to throw in the mix is quarterback Kyle Trask from Florida. He’s a guy predicted to go between the second and fourth round at present. Yet, his performances against the SEC dazzles. He is someone talented enough to spring up to an early second rounder.
No matter what happens, fans still have at least one year to watch plenty of magic in Brees. He may not ready to hang it up after all.