The New Orleans Saints have an opportunity to find Drew Brees’ potential successor in the 2021 NFL draft.
The Saints are likely going to miss out on the likes of Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson. Whether the Saints draft a quarterback early or in the seventh round, it will be interesting to see if that prospect eventually takes over the starting role that Brees left behind.
The New Orleans Saints might add a quarterback in the 2021 NFL draft
If the New Orleans Saints select a quarterback, that player likely won’t be among the 2021 NFL draft’s top prospects.
Barring a trade, the Saints will pick for the first time at No. 28. It is almost certain that the top five quarterback prospects — Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance — will be long gone by then.
The Saints could have three realistic quarterback options in the first couple of rounds. Florida’s Kyle Trask, Stanford’s Davis Mills, and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond are all projected to go on the draft’s second day.
New Orleans could also wait to select a quarterback on the draft’s third day, which covers the fourth through seventh rounds.
When did the Saints last draft a quarterback?
One might think that because Drew Brees was the Saints’ starting quarterback for 15 years, it’s been quite some time since a rookie quarterback played in New Orleans.
You’d be surprised, then, to know that the Saints used a seventh-round pick on Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens last year. Stevens moved to tight end in training camp, however, and the Saints cut him before the regular season began.
Carolina signed Stevens in November and moved him back to quarterback. Stevens ran for 24 yards on four carries in a Week 17 loss to the Saints.
Interestingly, the Saints have not used a first-round pick on a quarterback since 1971. New Orleans used the second overall pick that year on Ole Miss star Archie Manning, the father of Peyton and Eli, and he became one of the most important players in Saints history.
New Orleans also still has Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill
The New Orleans Saints need a young quarterback, but they also have two proven veterans who can start under center in 2021.
Jameis Winston, the former No. 1 overall pick, and Taysom Hill are each scheduled to return next season. Although Winston spent most of last year as the de facto third-string quarterback, he threw a touchdown in the Saints’ NFC divisional-round loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
Hill won three of his four starts last season and scored 13 all-purpose touchdowns in 16 games. He ran for 457 yards and eight touchdowns, both career-highs, on 5.3 yards per attempt.
The 2021 NFL draft begins on Thursday, April 29, and ends on Saturday, May 1.