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2018 NFL Draft

Saints Signing of Cam Meredith Fills a Team “Need” — and Makes Drafting a QB a Step Closer to Reality

When the Chicago Bears declined to match the offer sheet yesterday to free agent wide receiver Cam Meredith worth a reported $9.6 million over two years ($5.4 million guaranteed), it gave the New Orleans Saints another weapon to add to their top-rated offense.

But what it also did by addressing a position of "need" at the WR position itself, was give the Saints even more options now for their top pick in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, which begins in 2 weeks from tonight.

That would seem to be the perfect position to be in, for a team that's sitting at #27 overall in the 1st round and doesn't (currently) have a 2nd Round pick.

One of those options that some Saints WON'T want to hear: taking a QB with their top pick.

By now, every fan of the New Orleans Saints realizes that future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees is getting closer and closer to his eventual retirement in a few more seasons from now, and the team will have to find the next starter to replace him.

Of course, there's a large portion of Who Dats who believe that current 3rd string QB Taysom Hill will be the next Saints "starting QB of the future", but the one big problem with that scenario coming to full fruition is that the 27-year former BYU star is largely UNPROVEN as an NFL QB, and hasn't even had a single snap in a game yet operating the Saints offense.

Photo courtesy of Michael C. Hebert

Could Taysom Hill REALLY become the next Saints QB? Sure he could.

But there's just as good of a chance that he won't, either.

Assuredly, Hill will get his shot during Training Camp in the month of August, to show everyone that he's capable of pulling it off.

Nevertheless, some Saints fans quickly counter that argument by suggesting that the team could just wait another year. and find "their guy" in next year's Draft or Free Agency.

But the reality is that the 2019 NFL Draft QB class isn't anywhere nearly as good as this year's, and there are ZERO "good" QB's that will be available in 2019 NFL Free Agency  assuming of course that the Atlanta Falcons re-sign their franchise QB Matt Ryan before then.

Which would then seem to even further strengthen the argument for the Saints brass to act , and nip the on-going issue of "replacing Brees" squarely in the bud.

So....who would the Saints target if that ends up being what they decide to do?

Obviously, there's Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield; whom the Saints have already spoken and visited with on 3 separate occasions, and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, whom the Saints brought in for a private workout and interview, on Tuesday morning.

Photo courtesy of The Louisville Courier-Journal

However, there's a very strong possibility that neither player will be available at #27, meaning that the Saints would have to trade up in order to take either one.

Additionally, the team has also interviewed QB's Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State and QB Kyle Lauletta from the University of Richmond, both of whom could potentially be groomed to take over after Brees leaves.

The bottom line is that the Saints franchise KNOWS that the future of the Saints QB position must be addressed.

The waiting and the temptation to further "kick the can down the road", is over.

Brees is age 39, not age 29.

Photo courtesy of Michael DeMocker, The New Orleans Times-Picayune

If we're damn lucky, we might see another 3 seasons of Brees in the Black and Gold.

But the truth is that we might only get 2 seasons more, making the need to have the "next QB" ready in time to take over the reigns from him, a top priority.

It's a priority that at this point, needs to be addressed before time runs out.

Yes, the Saints could certainly use a top-rated pass rusher; and if a player like Harold Landry of Boston College were to "fall" down to the #27 pick, they'll be faced with a tough decision to make.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

But with the future of the entire franchise being dependent on finding the next QB to successfully navigate the post-Brees Era in New Orleans, aggressively going after one that you feel is capable of handling both the role and the responsibility that comes along with it, is clearly a "no-brainer".

Meaning that trading up to get either Mayfield or Jackson is something that Saints team brass will in fact have to ponder.

Of course, the Saints could still just decide to take the BPA (best player available) at #27, and take a defensive tackle such as Alabama's Da'Ron Payne or an offensive guard like Georgia's Isiah Wynn.

Depending on WHO is still available, the Saints could go in any number of different ways with their first pick.

But make no mistake about it: the Saints likely will take a QB in this 2018 NFL Draft; and with the signing of Cam Meredith yesterday filling a "need" at WR, it just became one step closer to reality......


Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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