For a nation starved of haircuts and non-grainy sports programming, America will get perhaps its first small taste of normalcy since the COVID shutdown hit 40+ days ago when the NFL holds the first round of the 2020 Draft on Thursday night.
While for observers much of what will go down at the draft is unknown, there is one near-certainty: LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow will be the first overall selection.
The bad news for Louisiana’s favorite adopted son is that the Tiger will end up staying in his home state of Ohio and becoming a Bengal.
Thoughts and prayers for Mr. Burreaux.
For the New Orleans Saints on the first day of the draft, there are three big questions.
First, do they go for the best player available in a need position?
On the defensive side of the ball, the Black and Gold could use some new blood in an aging and injury-prone linebacker corps.
On offense, the Saints a fresh set of hands at wide receiver to split opponents’ attention off Michael Thomas would be most welcome.
The Saints inked some veteran help bringing in Emmanuel Sanders, but at 33 years old i’s a short-term fix at best.
Secondly, are the Saints hunting for a quarterback in the first round?
Head coach Sean Payton shocked the Who Dat faithful when he blurted out that this would be quarterback Drew Brees’ last season.
While Brees has (strangely) not commented on the story, as of now the alternative to the future Pro Football Hall of Famer is the immensely popular Taysom Hill, the team’s Swiss Army knife player.
Utah State quarterback Jordan Love may very well be on the board when the Saints pick at number 24 and he’s listed as the probable selection on numerous mock drafts.
Is Airline Drive (or rather the respective living rooms of the team’s brass) looking at choosing a player to help Brees win this year or lay the foundation for the post-Brees era?
Thirdly, will the Saints finally use a first round pick on an LSU player?
Though the Saints have chosen a number of Tigers over the years, it’s been suspiciously rare event during the Sean Payton era.
This could be the year it happens as the Saints have a definite need at linebacker and LSU’s Patrick Queen might still be available when New Orleans goes on the clock.
Queen is the consensus selection on a majority of mock draft boards.
Also discussed as a potential Saints draftee is Queen’s teammate Kristian Fulton (cornerback). Wide receiver Jordan Jefferson could also fit as the Saints’ top pick.
My Take: Unless General Manager Mickey Loomis and Payton have designs on bringing in a free agent when Brees ambles from the field to the press box, I don’t see how the Saints skip on Love if he’s around.
While adding another wide-out seemed pressing during the season the Saints need to try to win in 2020 with what they already have.
A transition is imminent at signal caller and putting all their eggs in Taysom Hill’s basket would be reckless.