The New Orleans Saints are reportedly involved in active trade discussions about moving up in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, which starts 8 p.m. ET Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported the Saints, who own the 27th overall pick, are considering a "big leap" in Round 1.
New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis was asked during his pre-draft press conference Wednesday about possibly moving down since they only have one selection inside the top 90. He downplayed that idea and suggested the team would consider sacrificing more capital to land a coveted prospect, telling reporters:
"I wouldn't say that because look there may be a target on someone that we have going forward that if we can get this one guy then that's worth giving up some of our other assets. So I think we're open to either, although historically I think we've done a lot more trading up than we have trading back. I recognize that."
This year's draft will be particularly interesting because of all the high-profile quarterbacks expected to be selected in the first round. That could lead top prospects at other positions to slide.
The Saints could benefit from bolstering their offensive line or adding another edge-rusher on defense. If a player like Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey or UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport slides a bit, they could look to trade up.
It's also possible the front office could target one of the QBs as the eventual replacement for Drew Brees. He continues to play at a high level, but at age 39, it's unclear how much longer he'll be considered a franchise quarterback.
The wide range of possibilities makes the Saints a team to watch during what should be an entertaining first round Thursday night.