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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Sigler

Report: Saints among teams that could trade up in 2023 draft’s Round 1

Well that’s something. Right now, the New Orleans Saints are scheduled to pick at the end of the Round 1 in the 2023 NFL draft — at No. 29 overall, to be exact. To take that a step further, the Saints would not submit their pick until about 10:22 p.m. CT on Thursday night. But if they get their way, fans might not have to wait so long to greet the newest member of the black and gold.

Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports that the Saints are one of a few teams who could trade up in the first round, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. Breer wrote: “I’d put the Saints in that category as well, with their history being that they identify guys and aren’t afraid to make moves up for them (last year, they went up for Chris Olave), even if costs them future capital.”

Breer adds that other teams are looking to acquire 2024 draft picks in hopes of eventually trading for a top-flight quarterback like USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye, so New Orleans could very well find a willing trade partner if the right situation presents itself. We’re speculating, but watch out for teams the Saints have traded with before like the New England Patriots (at No. 14), the Washington Commanders (at No. 16), and the Minnesota Vikings (No. 23).

That tracks with their usual strategy under general manager Mickey Loomis. The Saints often spend the days leading up to the draft calling other teams to gauge interest in possible trades if the right prospect is available at the right pick, and New Orleans is willing to pay the right price to another team. It’s all about finding the right match.

Sometimes a deal materializes (as happened last year when they leaped from No. 16 to 11, targeting wide receiver Chris Olave; and again in 2018, when they moved halfway up the board for defensive end Marcus Davenport). Sometimes nothing comes of it (as happened a year earlier, when the Saints were eyeing top cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain Jr.).

Without seeing how the 2023 draft shakes out we can’t say that the Saints are readying to push their chips in for a certain prospect. This won’t be the last report or rumor to float around as the Saints put the finishing touches on their 2023 draft strategy.

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