A QB prospect for the Saints in every round of the 2023 NFL draft
There isn’t a bigger offseason priority for the New Orleans Saints than finding their next quarterback, and the 2023 NFL draft has options. They’ll have opportunities to look for a starter in the early rounds and developmental backups in the middle of the draft, and there are some prospects worth considering in the event’s final rounds.
If you don’t have a quarterback, you should keep drafting them until you get one. Keep swinging at the plate until you make contact and hit a home run. Here’s a quick look at some of the passers projected to go in each of the 2023 draft’s seven rounds:
Round 1: Anthony Richardson, Florida
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Richardson is getting top-five buzz right now, and he’s expected to do well at the NFL scouting combine next week. But the Saints could trade up for him if he makes it to the teens.
Round 2: Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
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The red flags in Hooker’s scouting report — his injured knee, his age, his success in a system unlike the Saints’ — give me pause, and I’d rather target him in the third round than the second. But waiting may not be a luxury New Orleans has at its disposal on draft day.
Round 3: Jake Haener, Fresno State
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Haener is a gamer who commands the huddle and plays with a ton of confidence, and a live arm. I like him the most of the mid-round quarterbacks who are hoping to be the next Kirk Cousins or Dak Prescott.
Round 4: Jaren Hall, BYU
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Hall can play, but his limitations as a passer were on clear display at Senior Bowl practices in January. He may not have as high a ceiling as mid-round prospects need to separate themselves from the pack.
Round 5: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
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Thompson-Robinson is easy to root for as a natural leader with high athletic upside, which will help his case right away in the NFL. He’s also one of the most-experienced quarterbacks coming out of the college game this year, but too often he puts the ball in harm’s way and too many passes get away from him mechanically.
Round 6: Max Duggan, TCU
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Duggan gives a lot of effort and he has the athletic tools to get drafted, but his scattershot accuracy and inconsistent mechanics will limit his opportunities at the pro level.
Round 7: Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
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O’Connell is a favorite of road scouts for his on-field attitude, and he does play with a lot of moxie. That bites him sometimes though with regrettable turnovers, and his limited pocket mobility holds him back.