It’s a safe bet that the Saints will cut a deal and trade some picks during the 2021 NFL draft. It’s even more likely that they’ll trade up to leapfrog their competition; that’s been New Orleans’ approach for more than a decade, with Sean Payton orchestrating a trade up the board at some point in every draft he’s conducted except for 2006, his very first year on the job; the Saints front office stood pat in 2012 when Payton was suspended.
But maybe now isn’t the time to take such an aggressive approach. The Saints’ depth chart is awful thin at many positions, and taking a conservative backstep here or there, accumulating more picks, would help them reload after losing so many players during free agency. Still, that hasn’t been their M.O., so we’ll start by considering what it might cost to move up from their first pick at No. 28 overall.
Here are six trade proposals, all based on deals teams have cut in recent years — three that could see New Orleans move up, and three showing the possible benefits in moving down.