2018 NFL draft: Saints pay a QB price to trade up for ... DE Marcus Davenport?

The New Orleans Saints, for many years, have been the most compulsive front office in the NFL. Some may say they display aggression. Others might think it’s recklessness.

When the Saints spent a fortune to trade up to the 14th pick, giving up the No. 27 overall pick, a fifth-round pick and next year’s first-rounder, it seemed it had to be for a quarterback. You wouldn’t pay that much to move up and draft someone else, right?

During the time the Saints were on the clock it seemed they were going to take Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, but then they didn’t. The pick was Texas-San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport. Even in a pretty wild first round, that was a legitimate “wow” moment.

Nothing against Davenport. He is a physical marvel and could be a phenomenal pass rusher. The Saints came close to a Super Bowl last season and it’s not the worst thing to maximize their chances as long as Drew Brees is their quarterback. But that was a lot to move up for Davenport, a player who, for all his physical skills, is still pretty raw and mostly unproven against top competition.

Brees will have to be replaced, presumably sometimes soon. And instead of moving up to get Brees’ replacement, they passed. And the Saints shipped off a 2019 first-round pick that could have been used next year on that new quarterback.

Like most things the Saints do, it’s a gamble. They spend in free agency like they have no plan, just some cash in their pocket and and itch to spend it. And they paid quite the price to land Davenport in the draft.

The Saints traded a lot to move up and draft UTSA defensive lineman Marcus Davenport. (AP)
The Saints traded a lot to move up and draft UTSA defensive lineman Marcus Davenport. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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