Saints NFL Draft Pick Predictions & Odds | 2022 Draft Team Needs & Futures Bets
The 2021 season was one of transition for the Saints.
Drew Brees retired after the 2020 campaign, leaving a massive hole at quarterback in New Orleans. Jameis Winston began 2021 as the starter, but only lasted seven games before suffering a torn ACL.
The Saints went on to finish the season with a 9-8 record and missed the playoffs, mainly because of their struggles under center. New Orleans was rumored to be in on several big-name quarterbacks this offseason but ultimately missed out on them, which led them to bring Winston back on a two-year deal.
The Saints also hope to bolster their offense with a healthy Michael Thomas, who missed all of last season with an ankle injury.
Saints NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 1, Pick 16 (16th Overall, via PHI)
- Round 1, Pick 19 (19th Overall, via PHI)
- Round 2, Pick 17 (49th Overall)
- Round 3, Pick 34 (98th Overall) — Compensatory
- Round 4, Pick 15 (120th Overall)
- Round 5, Pick 18 (161st Overall)
- Round 6, Pick 15 (194th Overall, via PHI)
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Saints Team Needs 2022
1. Wide Receiver
Even if Thomas is healthy, the Saints clearly need to add talent at wide receiver. The top options behind him on the depth chart are Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, and Kawaan Baker. Winston has a big arm, so they need to add weapons around him to help take advantage of it.
2. Offensive Tackle
The Saints now have a big hole to fill on their offensive line after left tackle Terron Armstead signed a five-year deal with the Miami Dolphins. Even if they don’t select an offensive tackle in the first round, expect them to address the position within the first few rounds of the draft.
Winston is unlikely to be the long-term solution at quarterback for the Saints. In the six games he finished last season, he threw for 230+ yards just once. He also only attempted 25+ passes twice, which was likely by design as the Saints tried to limit his interceptions.
They also have newly-acquired veteran Andy Dalton, the versatile Taysom Hill, and 2021 fourth-round pick Ian Book at the position, so while this is a long-term position of need for New Orleans, it might not necessarily be addressed in this year’s draft.
Saints May Also Consider Drafting: Defensive Line, Running Back
Saints NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 1, Pick 16 (16th Overall): Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- Round 1 Pick 19 (19th Overall): Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
- Round 2, Pick 17 (49th Overall): Bernard Raimann, OL, Central Michigan
- Round 3, Pick 34 (98th Overall): John Ridgeway, DL, Arkansas
More Possible Saints Draft Targets: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh; Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi; Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Saints NFL Draft Bets 2022
Saints to Select a Wide Receiver in Round 1 (TBD) at Caesars
Wide receiver should be a top priority for the Saints. Michael Thomas has not only had health problems, but he’s also reportedly had issues with the organization about how they have handled his injuries.
Based on that, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s not on the roster much longer. There could be a few viable wide receiver options on the board when their picks roll around in the first round, so the Saints could pounce and fill a major need right off the bat.
Saints to Select a Quarterback in Round 1 (Odds TBD) at Caesars
The Saints having two picks in the first round increases their chances of getting a quarterback, whether they trade up or pick one in the late teens where they currently have two picks. If Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett is still available, I could see New Orleans jumping at the opportunity to select him.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral could also be an appealing target, and he’s probably the more likely of the two to still be available in the middle of the first round. Desmond Ridder also fits that description, so the Saints could have multiple options if they decide to go this route.