Report: Vikings rebuffed trade offer from Saints in Round 1
Two teams, I hear, that had interest in moving up to 23 when the #Vikings were on the clock: Saints (29) and Chiefs (31). Belief is at least one of those teams would've taken Jordan Addison. Vikes like him so much, trade offers not rich enough, stayed at 23.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) April 28, 2023
The New Orleans Saints didn’t trade up in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft, but it’s not for lack of trying. Some intrigue surrounded the Minnesota Vikings at the No. 23 pick, who ran their 10-minute clock down to the final seconds before turning in their card to make their pick. Per Minneapolis 5 Eyewitness News’ Darren Wolfson, the Vikings took so long because they were weighing trade offers from the Saints (at No. 29) and the Kansas City Chiefs (at No. 31).
And at least one of those teams wanted USC wide receiver Jordan Addison, who the Vikings also coveted. In the end, Wolfson reports, the trade offers weren’t lucrative enough to keep the Minnesota from staying put and taking Addison for themselves.
Were the Saints in on Addison? We can’t say for sure without looking at their draft board, but probably not. He doesn’t fit the high athletic standards they value in the draft, which is reflected in his pedestrian 5.95 Relative Athletic Score. He’s still a tremendous talent and one of the best route-runners in the entire draft class, which is why the Vikings picked him. More likely it was the Chiefs targeting Addison. There had been a lot of reports, rumors, smoke, buzz, and other scuttlebutt going around in the days leading up to the draft that Kansas City hoped to trade up in the first round for a receiver.
So who were the Saints targeting? They ultimately chose to wait it out at No. 29 and pick either of the Clemson defensive linemen (Bresee or Myles Murphy, who the Cincinnati Bengals drafted one slot ahead of them). Maybe they weren’t completely confident in both guys making it to their pick. Looking at the other players taken between Nos. 23 and 27, the closest athletic fit was Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks (picked by the New York Giants in a curious trade up from No. 25 to 24), who the Saints did host on one of their 30 allotted pre-draft visits at the team facility. Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid may have also been an option though he had an incomplete athletic profile due to injury, and the Buffalo Bills also traded up to get him at No. 25.
We’re speculating, but maybe the Saints had high grades on Banks, Murphy, Bresee, and maybe Kincaid, and they were angling to move up and have their pick of the bunch. Only they weren’t willing to push enough chips in to satisfy the teams that would be moving down, so competitors won those bids. That would explain why the Giants were compelled to make a trade and move up just one slot. In the end, the Saints made the right call in not trading up. They still got one of their top prospects at their most important position of need. But it’s still fun to consider what may have been.
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