On Monday, the New Orleans Saints signed Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to a four-year, $150 million deal. After a tumultuous two years of not having a consistent starting quarterback, the Saints seem to have found their guy.
There’s no doubt that Derek Carr is a polarizing quarterback. At times, he appears to lack consistency and force passes that lead to interceptions. However, he has also proven to be a top-tier quarterback throughout his nine-year career, which became evident with his fourth Pro Bowl appearance last season.
Outside of Carr, we are not sure what other quarterbacks the Saints pursued this offseason, but it seems like Carr was a conservative choice. Theoretically, the Saints could have sold the house for a Lamar Jackson or similar candidate. They also could have traded their souls to move up and draft a QB in this year’s very talented rookie class.
Instead, they went with Derek Carr, the new best quarterback in the NFC South. Can he lead you to a Super Bowl? Maybe, but it’s a stretch. But he’s definitely an improvement.
The NFC South starters (as of now) pic.twitter.com/5sooh830sB— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 6, 2023
For the reasons of long-term success, along with insurance to combat Carr’s inconsistencies, the Saints should consider drafting a middle-round quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft.
With all of the press surrounding the top four quarterbacks in this draft (Stroud, Young, Richardson, Levis), it’s easy to look past some of the great talent that will likely be selected outside of the first round. There are still plenty of options for the Saints to pick in the second, third, and fourth round.
It might be a shock to some, but the Saints are not in “dire need” of many positions heading into this draft. Though the health and contractual status of several players might change this, this is likely not a draft where New Orleans will be drafting essential year-one starters past the first round. Drafting a QB in the second or third round would be pretty low risk.
Pro #1: Hendon Hooker has the perfect blend of size and athleticism.— Anthony Rivardo (@Anthony_Rivardo) February 23, 2023
6-foot-4, 222 pounds, with elite speed and a well-built frame. Hooker looks just like the league’s top QBs.
Underrated ability to extend plays. pic.twitter.com/pbcJjNScQ3
Also, drafting a second or third round QB gives you immediate quarterback depth behind a new quarterback. It appears that Jameis Winston will not be with the team next season, and some expect the same fate for Andy Dalton.
In closing, regardless of Derek Carr, the Saints could use a rookie quarterback for both depth and development implications. Certain QB prospects that fit this profile, like Hendon Hooker, Tanner McKee, and Aidan O’Connell, could each very well be seen as “the one that got away” from Mickey Loomis and company in a draft where the risk is low, and the upside is high.