The New Orleans Saints have traded pick 227 this year and a fourth-round pick in 2024 to select a QB out of Fresno State, Jake Haener.
This pairs up former Fresno State QB Derek Carr with their most recent product in Haener. Jake had a down year in 2022, putting up 2,896 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and 3 interceptions, on a 72% completion rate. However, in 2021 he had his best year by far, with 4,096 passing yards, 33 touchdowns to 9 interceptions, and a 67.1% completion rate.
Haener is a pocket-passing type QB, whose main strengths reside in his ability to read the field and processing defenses. He plays well against the blitz and under heavy pressure, which is most definitely a positive. His limitations are mostly his size and athletic ability, as he is not an exceptional player outside the pocket, and he is only 6’0’ 207 pounds.
This pick may not make a ton of sense initially, with Derek Carr coming in this offseason and Jameis Winston being retained by the Saints as well. The thought process one could assume that went into this pick would be that he seems to fit into the mold of New Orleans QBs, and you might as well take a QB late with a low-value pick. Undrafted free agency is shaping up to be extremely full of talent this year, so go get someone at a higher-value position now.
We also saw Georgia QB Stetson Bennett go to the Los Angeles Rams shortly afterward, which is a very similar type of scenario.
This is the second trade-up of the day for the Saints, after not making any trades the first two days. This has allowed them to bring in both Haener and Old Dominion OL Nick Saldiveri in the 4th round. The team still holds pick 146 as well, which comes up shortly, and pick 257 in the 7th round. New Orleans will look to round out the draft with a few more picks and go into their yearly signings in undrafted free agency.