It’s coming. A time where we don’t have Drew Brees behind center. As horrifying as that may be, we need to prepare. We have J.T. Barrett who showed potential at minicamp, and performed well in college, setting over 25 Ohio State school records, and breaking Drew Brees’s record for most career offensive yards with 12,697. Unfortunately, Barrett still needs to work on his downfield passing and overall mechanics. We also have Special Teams stud Taysom Hill who many Saints fans and Sean Payton himself want to prove can compete at an NFL level. While those two are learning the team and certainly raising a few eyebrows, neither are a basket we want to put all of our eggs in.
The 2019 College Football Season is quickly approaching and in its draft class are a couple of Quarterbacks I could see catching the eye of Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and Jeff Ireland. Now, we don’t have our own first round pick this year, as we moved it in the deal to select Marcus Davenport in this year’s draft, but as the front office has shown they aren’t afraid to put together the pieces to nab a player they like. We also have each of our picks for rounds 2-7. So, with one of those picks, it is likely that we will take a quarterback. The only question is, who?
Shea Patterson, Michigan
Johnny Manziel, but stronger and without the off-the-field issues. That’s the first comparison always made when looking at Patterson. We know Payton has always had interest in Johnny Manziel’s skill set, so you can bet that he will keep an eye on the former Ole Miss quarterback. In Michigan, he gets to work with Jim Harbaugh for a year, with better talent around him, so we will get a better idea on where he is in terms of NFL readiness this year. Scouts love his mobility, big arm, and ability to make big plays. In his two years at Ole Miss he recorded 3,139 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in 10 games played. Now, even though Patterson got drafted by the Rangers in the 39th round of the MLB draft this year, I have a feeling he will go a little higher when it comes to the NFL draft and probably won’t be there when we pick in the 2nd round. But, if Payton falls in love, I expect him to do whatever he can to move up and get his guy.
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
This one, I just want to throw out there. He has the Josh Allen quality of being huge at 6’7 and a cannon arm, so seeing as Sean Payton wasn’t huge on Allen I don’t see him having this guy on his radar, unless he improves on his already impressive 2017 season. Yes, the MAC isn’t the top level of competition but a player is a player. He battled a knee injury last season which kept him to playing just eight games. But, in those 8 games he posted 2096 yds 12 tds and only 3 ints with a 148.8 passer rating. He also surprising athletic ability for his size. He definitely isn’t NFL ready, but a year behind Brees learning to have more control could lead to an impressive player at the next level. He’s my biggest candidate for the small school star that takes over some draft conversations.
Ryan Finley, NC State
Finley is one of my favorite QBs coming into this class, his polish in the pocket, good decision making, and game management will all put him on our radar, along with other QB needy teams. He has the leadership and control of his offense that Payton falls in love with quickly. I wouldn’t mind us doing whatever it takes to move up and draft him if he has yet another special year in 2018 and solidifying his position as a top QB in this draft. In his two seasons as the leader of the Wolfpack offense he’s accrued 6,573 yards, 35 tds, and 14 ints. While he probably won’t be there when we pick in round 2, it’d be my dream for us to move up and take him.
So all in all, in what many would say is a relatively weak year for Quarterbacks, there are a few key players I wouldn’t mind adding to our squad. Lacking a first round pick we don’t have the ammo to move up that some teams might, but with how the Saints are looking depth-wise I wouldn’t mind seeing us reaching or moving up for a good quarterback prospect or even giving up later draft picks to move up for one. But, we of course still need to see how this season shakes out, but it’s never too early to start planning for the future. Whatever we decide, I’m sure it will be the right choice. In Loomis, Ireland, Payton, Whoever keeps drafting these studs We Trust.