What if the Saints trade down in the first round?

The New Orleans Saints could do the impossible for them and trade down in the first round of the draft. Here is how it could look if the Saints did that.

Illinois v Minnesota

The New Orleans Saints haven’t traded down in a draft since 2007. However, this year feels like one in which it could make sense for the Saints to do so. They have many needs that need to be filled if they want to stay competitive next year. Trading back and stocking up on more picks could help make that happen.

In this draft, I traded picks 14 and 174 to the Cincinnati Bengals for picks 18, 80, and 115. This allows New Orleans to have two extra picks in the top 120. This would allow them to fill more holes on the roster with quality players. Here is one way that the Saints could take this draft if they do that trade.

Round 1 Pick 18: Jer’Zhan Newton- Defensive Tackle, Illinois

Jer'Zhan Newton - 2023 - Football - University of Illinois Athletics

With the 14th overall pick, I have the Saints selecting Jer’Zhan Newton, the defensive tackle out of Illinois. Although offensive tackle is a massive need, if the Saints love a player like Newton they should pick him up. There are offensive tackle options in other rounds that could help fill out the depth. Jer’Zhan Newton could come in and make a dynamic duo on the interior with him and Bryan Bresee.

Jer’Zhan Newton is a player who is disruptive in both the passing game and the running game. Last year at Illinois, Newton tallied 7.5 sacks. Pairing him with Bresee who had 4.5 sacks this past year, would create havoc for opposing linemen. Newton creates problems in the run game. He can fill holes and make it tough for the running back to find open space. Newton is a leader as he was a team captain at Illinois. That may seem minor but the Saints love selecting team captains.

Round 2 Pick 45: Kiran Amagedjie- Offensive Tackle, Yale

In the second round, the Saints go with Kiran Amagedjie, filling a need at offensive tackle. Personally, Amegadjie is one of my favorite prospects in this year’s draft. He has an elite frame for a tackle, standing at 6-foot-5, 326 pounds. He is also super athletic and shows traits of being an elite tackle at the next level.

Kiran Amagedjie provides versatility as he has played guard in college. He would likely still be a tackle but if the Saints did wish to convert him then they could. In pass protection, Amagedjie hasn’t allowed a sack in his previous two years at Yale. Amagedjie contains a nasty streak in the run game and will plow over players at the second level. He has experience in a zone running scheme which would make his transition easier.

There are a few concerns about Amagedjie, mainly his level of competition. At Yale, he towers over his competition. Due to a quad tear, he wasn’t able to compete at the Senior Bowl. If he had, it would be a lot easier to project how he would be at the next level. Regardless of these concerns, Kiran Amagedjie is someone that the Saints should put serious thought into drafting in the second round.

Round 3 Pick 80: Malachi Corley- Wide Receiver, Western Kentucky

Corley, Davis carry Hilltoppers to victory in 2022 season opener – WKUHerald.com

With pick 80, the Saints pick Malachi Corley, the receiver out of Western Kentucky. As Klint Kubiak enters as the offensive coordinator he will bring traits similar to the San Francisco 49ers offense in past years. A key component of that system is a receiver who can get yards after the catch.

That is the role that Malachi Corley would thrive in. In college, his nickname was the YAC King. Corley had the most screen yards this past year in college football. He could give this offense a new dimension with the ability to go back to the screen passes which worked so well with Sean Payton.

Another thing that Corley does well is blocking on the sideline. Corley is successful in blocking against defensive backs. He isn’t huge, standing at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds but has plenty of power. Corley being built like a running back helps him after the catch as he can plow over smaller defenders. Corley doesn’t have an extensive route tree but that is something that can be developed with further coaching. If Corley is available at this pick the Saints shouldn’t hesitate to run to the podium and select him.

Round 4 Pick 115: Hunter Nourzad- Interior Offensive Line, Penn St.

At pick 115 the Saints select Hunter Nourzad, the interior offensive lineman from Penn State. When looking at Nourzad the first thing that pops out is his versatility. In college, Nourzad played all five spots at the offensive line. His versatility is something that the Saints could use on the line. He would provide depth at multiple positions which could benefit them.

Nourzad contains great athleticism and good quickness. His technique needs to be improved but that should come with better coaching and reps. Nourzad would help give the Saints depth at a position that they desperately need.

Round 5 Pick 150: Cole Bishop- Safety, Utah

Cole Bishop - Football - University of Utah Athletics

With the 150th overall pick, the Saints select Cole Bishop, the safety from Utah. Bishop plays best while playing in the box. A box safety is a position of need for the Saints following the departure of Marcus Maye. Investing in Bishop would help the Saints build a duo of safeties for the future with Jordan Howden. Bishop has great size standing at 6-foot-2 and uses that to take down opposing ball carriers. He is very instinctual and has a knack for making plays on the ball. Bishop would be a steal if available in the fifth round.

Round 5 Pick 168: Cody Schrader- Halfback, Missouri

Cody Schrader - Football - University of Missouri Athletics

With the 168th overall pick, the Saints select Cody Schrader, the halfback out of Missouri. Last year at Missouri, Schrader produced impressive numbers with 1,627 yards and 14 touchdowns. Missouri’s offensive system is very similar to what the Saints will likely run next year. This will make his transition to the next level easier.

Schrader burst on the scene with an impressive Senior Bowl performance this year. The Saints likely could be looking at him as an option. Schrader doesn’t contain the desired top-end speed but has enough speed to burst away from defenders. If available at this pick Schrader would be a great option for the Saints to pick up.

Round 5 Pick 170: Jaheim Bell- Tight End, Florida State

Jaheim Bell enters NFL Draft after starring as FSU football tight end

With their final fifth-round pick the Saints select Jaheim Bell, the tight end from Florida State. Bell is an explosive receiver in the receiving game. He would pair alongside Juwan Johnson and Foster Moreau to make a formidable tight-end group. Bell needs to improve his blocking ability however if he wants to be a consistent contributor in the Saints offense. He contains tons of potential to be a productive tight end in the NFL and is someone the Saints should consider investing in.

Round 6 Pick 190: Steele Chambers- Linebacker, Ohio State

Steele Chambers has excelled since moving to linebacker at Ohio State - Land-Grant Holy Land

At pick 190 the Saints select Steele Chambers, the linebacker from Ohio State. The Saints have done a good job at gaining linebacker depth this offseason. They signed both Willie Gay and Khaleke Hudson. Although they signed both of them, it would still be a good idea to invest in another linebacker.  Chambers is athletic and the Saints could use him for his coverage abilities.

Round 6 Pick 199: Jalen Green- Edge Rusher, James Madison

Jalen Green: Potential NFL Draft Steal - HERO Sports

With their final sixth-round pick, the Saints select Jalen Green, the edge rusher from James Madison. If you want someone with production, Jalen Green is the perfect player. In nine total games with James Madison this past year, he totaled an astonishing 18 sacks. Green is very quick and uses his lack of size to his advantage.

Green is coming off of a knee injury which could cause some concern to NFL teams. He doesn’t contain amazing power either, and he didn’t play a ton of competition in college. However, just based on his production in college, the Saints should roll the dice on Green if he is still available.

Round 7 Pick 239: Joe Milton III: Quarterback, Tennessee

Tennessee QB Joe Milton opts out of Citrus Bowl for NFL draft, leaving Nico Iamaleava to start | AP News

At pick 239 the Saints select Joe Milton III, the quarterback from Tennessee. This pick has low risk and extremely high potential. Milton contains the frame and the arm strength of an elite NFL quarterback. He astonished teams at the combine with his arm power. Milton struggles with accuracy and decision making but if he can fix that he could be a great quarterback at the next level.

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