Saints GM Mickey Loomis 'Not Afraid to Pull That Trigger,' Take QB in NFL Draft

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: The New Orleans Saints logo is pictured during the NFC Divisional Playoff against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis made it clear entering the 2020 NFL draft on Thursday that selecting a quarterback to grow behind Drew Brees is a possibility. 

Speaking to John DeShazier of the Saints' official website, Loomis discussed his philosophy on taking a signal-caller:

"I think that any time you have a chance to get a quality quarterback prospect, regardless of your quarterback situation, you'd like to take advantage of that. For us, it hasn't come. There hasn't been the match where we're picking with a prospect that we really like. Our approach is exactly the same this year: If there's someone there that we really like and have a vision for at the time we're picking, then we're not afraid to pull that trigger."

Brees signed a two-year deal to return to the Saints this offseason, but he is in the twilight of his career at 41 years of age. Because of that, finding an heir apparent in the 2020 draft should be a top priority for New Orleans.

New Orleans owns the No. 24 overall pick in the first round of the draft, and there could still be some talented quarterback prospects on the board at that point, although trading up may also be a possibility.

With LSU quarterback Joe Burrow expected to go No. 1 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, and both Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert expected to be gone by the time the Saints pick in the first round, New Orleans must decide whether any quarterback remaining is worth taking.

If one of Tua or Herbert fall past the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 and Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6, then the Saints could explore a trade up into the middle part of the first round as well, although they don't have much ammunition with no second-round pick.

The Saints also have to contend with the New England Patriots picking 23rd overall since they have a clear need at quarterback as well.

If the Saints stand pat, Utah State's Jordan Love is likely the top quarterback who could be available to them at No. 24. Love is a big and physically gifted quarterback, but he is coming off a junior season that saw him throw 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions after tossing 32 touchdowns and only six picks the previous season.

Provided Love is available, Loomis must weigh up whether the signal-caller has the potential to be a better NFL quarterback than Taysom Hill, who is currently the backup to Brees after Teddy Bridgewater left for the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

If New Orleans isn't a big fan of Love, then trading down and acquiring more picks could be an attractive option. In that scenario, the Saints could then look at Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Washington's Jacob Eason or Georgia's Jake Fromm in the second round.

Of those quarterbacks, Hurts is something of a wild card, Eason has perhaps the highest ceiling and lowest floor, and Fromm has the highest floor and lowest ceiling.

Hurts is the most intriguing option among them due to the success he enjoyed in college, including winning a national championship at Alabama and leading Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff last season. He also finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Hurts is a dual-threat quarterback who has split NFL talent evaluators on how good of a quarterback he can be in the NFL, but he has the potential to be a Hill-type player at the very least.

If the Saints nab Hurts and let him battle it out with Hill to determine who the future of the quarterback position is for them, it would make for a highly captivating storyline within a team that has Super Bowl aspirations this season.