The New Orleans Saints will soon have the task of replacing the irreplaceable Drew Brees. For some young Saints fans, this will be the first time they see a different long-term starting quarterback in a Saints uniform in their lifetime.
No pressure, front office.
Could they invest their 2020 first-round pick into a young arm? Or maybe they find a stud in the 2021 draft class, possibly in a trade up? Also, what about Taysom Hill? Is he actually the future? Only time will tell.
Rumors have been flying concerning New Orleans and Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Love is a human highlight reel but also struggles with his progressions and did not have very much talent around him at Utah State. Many will point to his regression in 2019 after his 2018 campaign, but it is not as straightforward as the statistics may suggest. Love lost his top targets as well as his head coach after the 2018 season. He arguably has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this class while he also has a fairly low floor. The tools are there, but can he get the coaching needed to use them to the best of his abilities? Sean Payton would certainly help with that.
Love has drawn comparisons to Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but that is extremely steep. Those are also partially unfair to Love if Mahomes-like production is expected from him especially early in his career. Both he and Mahomes are great off-script and throwing off-platform, but Love is not as polished as Mahomes was coming out of Texas Tech. Love has also reportedly impressed scouts and coaches with his demeanor throughout the draft process. This is important for a guy that will require some solid NFL coaching to reach his heights.
As for 2021 quarterback possibilities, there are quite a few between names like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Although, those guys will most likely be gone in the top 10, possibly even the top 5. The Saints don’t expect to be drafting that high based on their offseason moves and recent regular-season success. To get one of them, a large trade up would probably be required.
Trey Lance is a prospect Saints fans should keep their eye on during the 2020-2021 college football season if it does in fact happen. Lance is the quarterback for the North Dakota State Bison. The Bison have had their last two starting quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft in Carson Wentz and Easton Stick. Trey took the FCS world by storm last year leading NDSU to a 16-0 record and an FCS championship title.
Lance compiled some ridiculous stat-lines throughout the year which culminated in 2,786 yards alongside 28 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. Not to mention, he added 1,100 yards on the ground with 14 rushing touchdowns. For comparison, Carson Wentz’ best season with the Bison was to the tune of 3,111 yards with 25 TDs and 10 interceptions. Lance is already projected to be a possible top 15 pick in the 2021 draft, so a move up would most likely be required. If he can be the Saints’ future at QB though, there’s a possibility Mickey Loomis and co. could try to pull off one of their infamous trade-ups.
What About Taysom Hill?
Could the answer for New Orleans already be in-house? Taysom Hill certainly thinks so.
Hill has said on multiple occasions that he believes he can be a long-term NFL starter at quarterback and would love to be that for the Saints once Brees retires. Hill has 352 rushing yards, 238 receiving yards, and 119 passing yards over three seasons with the Saints. Taysom has basically been used as a jackknife, fulfilling many roles in every phase of the game. He’s seen time on special teams consistently as well as had reps at QB, RB, TE, and WR on offense. Hill’s role has been extremely unique and pretty effective, but that doesn’t particularly project future success as the team’s starter.
If Hill does in fact get the chance to be the long-term starter, expect the offense’s philosophy to change mightily as well. New Orleans would most likely implement a brand new scheme with Hill at the helm as well. It would be a run-heavier style of play rather than the high-powered passing offense Saints fans have become accustomed to with Drew Brees. In terms of how the league is shifting, this would be a shift in the opposite direction. For example, it would be very much different from a dynamic offense like the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. This doesn’t necessarily mean the offense wouldn’t be successful, but it would be a big leap of faith from the coaching staff.
There’s a lot to look forward to with all of the talent the Saints have in the building, but nailing the next quarterback decision will be key to continuing their current success.
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