Report: Saints are a team to ‘watch out for’ in potential trade down in Round 2

Now this is a surprise. CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones listed the New Orleans Saints as one team to “watch out for” in a possible trade down in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft; New Orleans is scheduled to make its pick at No. 40 overall, barring a trade. The Saints will also make a third-round pick at No. 71 overall.

Teams trade down all the time. What’s surprising is that the Saints would do it. General manager Mickey Loomis has not moved back in the draft order since 2007, and he said this week that his reasoning for rarely trading down is because he believes it’s settling for a lesser talent than would be available at their current pick. Instead, Loomis has often traded up; we predicted two trades up in Rounds 2 and 3 in our updated mock draft.

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But even Loomis would have to accept a trade down if the right opportunity presents itself. If another team wants to overpay for a move up or if the difference in prospects on their board isn’t too far apart from one spot to the other, it could make sense to move down, get more picks, and still pick a player they love. That perfect storm of variables just hasn’t come together often for the Saints over the last, oh, 16 years.

Who could be looking to move up? Jones suggested the New England Patriots as a team that could move up from the No. 46 pick, thanks to their stockpile of assets (including a third-round choice at No. 76 and four selections in the fourth round at Nos. 107, 117, 120, and 135). Loomis has done business with Bill Belichick often over the years, so there might be something to this.

If the Saints can pull off a slide back from No. 40 to 46 while adding one of those fourth-round assets and still getting their guy, it could be cause for celebration. But we’ll see if there’s much fire fueling this smoke in just a few hours.

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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire