The New Orleans Saints are sitting pretty at the 28th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With a few needs in this year’s draft — namely linebacker, cornerback and wide receiver — they can either move up and try to take a high-level talent in the teens or sit at 28 and pick the highest player on their big board.
Due to the recent situation with Caleb Farley being diagnosed with COVID 19, teams may be warier to take the young cornerback out of Virginia Tech. So if, in theory, the Saints end up sitting at No. 28, here’s the Doomsday Scenario for them on Thursday. This is if absolutely everything goes wrong.
No. 4: Atlanta Falcons select Kyle Pitts
This is only negative because Pitts is arguably the best pick there, and anything that makes the Falcons better is bad for Saints fans. It’s that simple. No, Pitts isn’t going to fall out of the Top 10. But it would be ideal if the Falcons didn’t make a move on him.
No. 8: Carolina Panthers select Jaycee Horn or Patrick Surtain
The Panthers and the Saints have a lot of overlap in their needs. Farley might be the best corner in this draft, but it’s unlikely he goes Top 10 given his current situation with injuries and COVID.
Horn and Surtain going this early only solidifies that the Saints would have to make a big move to get the other. And the higher the first player goes, the more capital the Saints will have to give up to get the other. Horn and Surtain should be the highest options at this point for the Saints.
No. 10: Dallas Cowboys select Horn or Surtain
There seems to be a bit of a staring contest between the Panthers and Cowboys. They seem extremely set on landing Surtain. If both of these corners are off the board in the Top 10, the Saints suddenly have to make a big move for Farley. And that would spell disaster for this draft.
No. 15: Justin Fields falls to New England Patriots
This would spell disaster for the league as a whole. Fields is quite possibly the best quarterback in this draft outside of Trevor Lawrence. If Fields were to fall to No. 15, the Patriots would have a ton of leverage with that pick, as plenty of teams would inarguably be happy to land him.
This would make it extremely difficult for the Saints to make a big move into the Top 20. The most likely scenario is this would end in a staring contest with the Patriots ultimately landing Fields, which could throw the rest of the order into some chaos.
No. 17: Las Vegas Raiders take Micah Parsons
It’s crazy to think about Parsons falling this far — it actually seems possible if not likely that the Broncos will take him — but just because the Broncos traded for Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t mean out of the market for a quarterback in an already-deep draft. Parsons has been hyped up as the best linebacker in this draft, but if he falls past 13 or 14 the Saints at least have a chance to make a run at him.
If Parsons falls to 17, it would undoubtedly be tempting to trade for him. If the Raiders stay pat and take him, it’s just another potentially strong player off the board.
No. 20: Rashawn Slater goes to whoever has the pick
The Chicago Bears are gatekeeping the Top 20, and trading with them is a big opportunity. Should Slater be available at 20, several teams may be willing to make a move to get the Northwestern product.
With that in mind, if the price is right (and no quarterbacks are left on the board), the Bears may be willing to make a deal.
If all of this happens, then who are the Saints ultimately saddled with? The 21-27 picks are extremely unpredictable, but that likely leaves the Saints’ options as the scraps of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Jabril Cox and Jamin Davis. Farley’s situation may lead to his stock drafting past the first round, but the Saints would be taking such a huge risk on selecting him it’s hard to imagine them going that direction.
Basically, the worst thing the Saints can do if they truly want to shore up linebacker or cornerback is sit at 28. Because whether or not these players go to these teams at these picks, the likelihood of them being on the board at 28 is slim.
The Saints have shown the willingness to make draft moves before. Whatever you may think of the Marcus Davenport trade, it was a calculated risk. Time heals all wounds, but action heals them faster. This may be the time to put a bandage on and make another big move.
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