2022 NFL draft: Bold predictions for the Saints in Round 1

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The New Orleans Saints can attack the 2022 NFL draft from a couple of different directions, which our staff considered in making our bold predictions ahead of the first round. We know that the Saints have the potential to seriously upgrade their roster. But how will they do it? And what do we not know? The Saints Wire staff examined this in our bold predictions for the first round:

The Saints will finally trade down

Look, it has to happen eventually, right? And why not now? When the Saints have the flexibility of two first-round picks to take their favorite player and then move down to return more selections later on? New Orleans has been exercising their due diligence in exploring trades with other teams (“Both forward and backward,” Mickey Loomis said Wednesday), as they always do, and this might be the best opportunity they have to make a savvy move. The talent pool flattens dramatically after the top 15 to 20 prospects, depending on who you ask, so the Saints could get a great prospect at No. 16, move down from No. 19 and still get a starting-caliber player. New Orleans hasn’t traded down since 2007, but that streak is going to snap sooner or later. — John Sigler

Saints will trade up, but not for a WR

I’m digging my heels in the sand at this point, but my bold prediction is if the Saints are going to trade up, it’s going to be somewhere like the New York Jets at No. 10 and the player is either Kyle Hamilton or Charles Cross. They’d likely be jumping the Commanders for Hamilton or jumping any team smart enough to try and trade up and do the same for Cross. I don’t think they are taking a wide receiver in the first round, and if Cross is gone, they aren’t taking an offensive tackle. Looking historically, they tend to trade up in Rounds 2, 3, and 4 for players they value highly and that’s the sweet spot to look for a receiver to me. — Maddy Hudak

The Saints will not draft a wide receiver

Saints fans have been begging for a first round receiver for years, but especially with the talent at the top of this class at the position. Of course, that means that I think they will leave the day without one. I do think they will start day two by grabbing one. It could be plenty of combinations of positions, or maybe they trade up, but it seems more likely than ever now that they don’t take one. A follow up bold prediction is that I think they have a deal in place with Jarvis Landry that will get announced once it doesn’t count against the comp pick algorithm. — Dylan Sanders

The Saints will pick a defensive back

While the New Orleans Saints have a plethora of options at offensive tackle and wide receiver, the safety class isn’t as deep. Because of the departures of starting safeties Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins, the backend of the Saints defense could use some help. With the signing of Marcus Maye, one spot has been addressed. Maye can play either the deep or box roles. Because of that, New Orleans could look to target a young safety early in this year’s draft while the talent and versatility is at its best. — Ross Jackson

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