Alabama QB Mac Jones remains a popular pick for the Saints in mock drafts

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John Sigler
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What will the New Orleans Saints do with their first pick in the 2021 NFL draft? They have plenty of needs to consider in the months ahead, many of which could be knocked out in free agency or by re-signing their own players.

But the quarterback question looms largest, especially if Drew Brees retires from the NFL. Jameis Winston is a free agent, leaving Taysom Hill and practice squad holdover Trevor Siemian as the only two passers under contract. So it makes sense for draft analysts to connect some dots in their mock-ups.

The latest connection comes from NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, who linked Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones to the Saints as a potential successor to Brees. Jeremiah explained his reasoning in his updated 2021 mock draft:

“If the Saints do re-sign Jameis Winston, Jones would provide an additional option as they try to replace Drew Brees, who’s expected to retire. Jones is a fit as an accurate thrower and good decision-maker.”

Adding Jones to the quarterbacks competition for training camp makes sense, even if Winston might have a leg up given his extensive starting experience and a year’s worth of practice in their system.

If the Saints can keep much of their core together, adding someone like Jones could be the right move. He has a reputation as a facilitator on a loaded roster, avoiding mistakes and hitting his receivers in stride so they can make plays. That could be just what New Orleans needs with weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas paired with a defense featuring Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis.

Maybe they’re still just a quarterback away from remaining in the thick of the playoff picture, even without Brees. But it’s also fair to ask if a prospect likes Jones, regarded as having a high floor with a low ceiling of potential, is what the Saints need to push them over the top and into a Super Bowl.