We’re less than one month away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and the remaining holes on the New Orleans Saints roster are starting to take shape. It is fairly clear that the Saints need help at the offensive skills positions - specifically wide receiver (behind Michael Thomas), a pass-catching tight end, and running back (for the inevitable Alvin Kamara suspension). The other, arguably most glaring, need for the Saints is a quarterback of the future, considering Jameis Winston is only under contract through the 2023 season.
That’s why Pro Football Focus has the New Orleans Saints grabbing their next franchise quarterback with the 18th overall pick in their most recent mock draft:
Big Board Rank: 43
Profile: 6’3”, 211 | Age: 22 (August 31, 1999)
Jameis Winston simply isn’t the future at the quarterback position for the Saints or any NFL team. He’s yet to show any reason otherwise, at least. New Orleans can initiate its search for a franchise signal-caller while prioritizing rookie contracts at premium positions to positively impact the team’s current cap situation by selecting Ridder or another quarterback at No. 18.
Ridder is a legit athlete at 6-foot-3, 211 pounds with more than 1,500 career collegiate dropbacks under his belt. Compared to the other top quarterbacks in the 2022 class, he is best positioned to start right away. He earned a career-high 90.7 PFF grade and made 26 big-time throws in the Bearcats’ College Football Playoff run last season.
Ridder was the second quarterback off the board in PFF’s mock, with the Carolina Panthers selecting Liberty QB Malik Willis with the 6th overall pick. For those keeping score, North Carolina QB Sam Howell went two picks later to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20th overall, while Ole Miss QB Matt Corral and Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett both went undrafted in the first round.
At wide receiver, the Saints also had a few options still on the board at 18. USC’s Drake London went in the top 10, going 10th overall to the New York Jets, with Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson coming off the board with the very next pick, 11th overall, to the Washington Commanders. The Los Angeles Chargers sniped the Saints with the 17th pick, grabbing Alabama WR Jameson Williams, but Ohio State WR Chris Olave was available for the Saints if they so desired, getting selected three picks behind the Saints, 21st overall to the New England Patriots. As expected, no tight end or running back cracked the first round.
What do you think about this pick for the Saints? Would you be happy with Ridder as the next franchise quarterback? Let us know in the comments. Send me presents.