Deke: Saints could control 1st Round of NFL Draft

Deke Bellavia
March 07, 2017 - 2:00 am
Yes we all know its pure speculation, guessing and a lot of what if’s.  But hey it’s what we do right?  Each year, weeks, if not more than a month or so, some team or teams begin to lead off the conversation of who could be looking to make moves early in the NFL Draft.

In 2016, the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns both were active early on swinging big deals with the Rams and Eagles.  Both the Rams and Eagles made the necessary moves to get into better position to land the top two QB prospects in last year’s NFL Draft. 

The Titans and Browns both gave up their top pick in order to land more picks in the 16 draft and future drafts as well.  And as of now, today, the New Orleans Saints look to be a team that could very well be a franchise that is looking to be on the move.

Not that the Saints are not always looking to move around in the draft, but when you look at where New Orleans picks first (11th overall) and what player could be a target for several teams (WR Brandin Cooks) it is conceivable that the Saints could very well set the tone and even dictate how the top of the 2017 NFL Draft unfolds.

Ok, I guess you can say I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat.  But go back and look at what was going on a year ago at this time and you will find that Tennessee and Cleveland were in line to control the top of the draft.

It was largely speculated that the Titans would take Ole Miss OT Laramey Tunsil with the #1 overall pick in the 2016 Draft.  It made sense in the fact that the Titans had drafted their new, franchise QB the year prior in Marcus Mariota.  But then the Rams and Titans pulled off a trade sending Los Angeles to the top of the draft and instead of a offensive lineman coming off the board first it would be Cal QB Jared Geoff that would be taken 1st overall.

And the Rams move quickly prompted the Eagles to move up in the draft as Philly was also in search of a franchise shaping QB.  The Eagles would swing a trade with Cleveland to pick up the #2 spot and true to form the Eagles also took a QB selecting Carson Wentz with the 2nd overall pick in the draft.  So what once looked like a draft that was to be controlled by teams that were not in need of  QB’s, two clubs moved up to land the top two signal callers in the draft.

Now we fast forward to the Saints and the 2017 NFL Draft.  New Orleans has said that they will answer phone calls about any type of offer for anyone.  And right now the word out of the Titans and Eagles camps is that the player in question in Saints WR Brandin Cooks.

A former #1 (20th overall in 2011), Cooks named was mentioned in the middle of the 2016 season after he did not appear in the stats when the Saints scored 49 points and piled up 555 yards in their blowout win over the L.A. Rams. 

Of course Coach Sean Payton squashed all of those so called reports and sources about Cooks supposedly being frustrated in the Saints Offense.  And the season continued with Cooks again being one of the top pass catchers on the Saints Roster.
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