Move down, move up, stay put. These are the options many around the New Orleans Saints have argued the last few weeks. The 2023 NFL Draft is upon us and with that comes hope for improving a team that desperately needs playmakers at key positions. Just last season, the Philadelphia Eagles made deals which vaulted them to the top of the NFC around the draft. If the Saints have identified players they want, and where they are willing to take them, understanding draft value will help predict potential trades that could occur over the draft weekend. This is the draft capital and trade values for the New Orleans Saints in the 2023 NFL Draft.
2023 NFL Draft trade value and scenarios for the Saints
There are two common tables used when calculating draft capital, which is then used for making trades in the NFL Draft. The classic method is called the Jimmie Johnson valuation model, named after former NFL coach and NFL Hall of Famer. Johnson is widely credited with putting a value on each pick in the draft, one which some teams might still use. In recent history though, another valuation chart has taken its place. The Rich Hill method takes into account previous draft trades when calculating value. Each of these systems try to put a value to each draft selection, which helps when analyzing ways teams can move up, or down, in upcoming drafts. For the purpose of this article, the more modern Rich Hill valuation will be used.
The number one overall draft pick is set to a 1,000 point valuation. Every other pick drops off drastically from this, with the third pick valued at just over 500. With just days to this year’s draft, the Saints valuation is sitting at just 470 points. The vast majority of these points are with the Saints first three selections, currently slated within the first 71 total selections. The Saints first three selections are worth 419 total points in the Rich Hill valuation. This is nearly equal to the eighth overall selection in the draft. Adding in the Saints fourth round selection, pick 115 overall, elevates the Saints draft capital nearly equal to the sixth overall selection. Quantity over quality is always one of the most difficult decisions in the draft, especially when hitting on a player is difficult for every team.
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Trading draft pick scenarios
One of the most realistic trade scenarios for the Saints would be trading their first and second round selections to vault up in the first round. For selections 29 and 40, the Saints hold a 351-point trade value. Just these two picks could let the Saints move up into the low teens. One potential suitor could be the rebuilding Houston Texans at pick 12 if they value getting another selection in the top 40. Likewise, the New England Patriots at pick 14 could be a suitor as they are a team who have been known to trade back in rounds. Picking between picks 12 and 15 should guarantee the Saints get a position filled at the top of their draft list. If the Saints are out on every quarterback being predicted to go in the first round, this could easily mean a top 10 rated player being acquired by the Saints in the teens.
One of the more interesting scenarios would be if the Saints have identified two players near the end of the first round they desire. If the team stays put with their 29th selection, they could use their second and third round picks to get another late first round selection. This pick could be as high as pick 27. With needs at both defensive tackle and interior offensive line, this could be incredibly advantageous for the Saints. These positions are often available to target at the end of round one. What could be a wild card situation though is if one of the top running backs falls down the board. If Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs is available, could the Saints pull the trigger and find an Alvin Kamara replacement? The possibilities are interesting, and the Saints have the draft capital to make many scenarios possible.
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