Should the Saints have added a QB?
by: Reese Nasser
NFL great and longtime New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement early in the off-season. While this came as no surprise considering Brees had a 20-year career, all eyes were on how the Saints would address the QB position. The Saints currently have four quarterbacks on the roster: Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian, and rookie Ian Book.
The Saints have options at quarterback and it is still unknown who will be QB1 once the season begins. But did the Saints make a mistake? Should they have traded for a player like Carson Wentz or moved up in the draft to take someone else? Or will the duo of Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston be enough? Let’s take a look.
The Case for Jameis
Jameis Winston has proven to be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. His record of 28-42 during his six-year career can’t be all attributed to him as the teams he played on in Tampa were never great.. He showed flashes during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it was enough for the Saints to take a chance on him. In his last full season with the Buccaneers, he threw for 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions; becoming the first and only player in the 30/30 club. While he has been known to be reckless on the field, he will occasionally do things like this.
Now, after spending a full season learning behind Brees and getting lasik surgery to fix his eyes, the Saints should feel comfortable handing him the keys. The risk is worth it. Brees has publicly endorsed Winston as his successor and the Saints should do the same.
The Potential of Taysom Hill
The Saints are still clearly all in on the Taysom Hill experiment after signing him to one of the strangest contracts in NFL history. The five-year extension has four voidable years which would mean the Saints could get out of it as soon as the 2021 season ends. The 31-year old utility player will make the occasional appearance but he can’t and should not be the Saints long term plan at quarterback. While talented, he hasn’t proven to have the ability of being a QB1.
The Saints selected Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book in the fourth round of this year’s draft. While Book wasn’t one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, he showed glimpses in college. His 72 passing touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns showed that he has playmaking ability.
Many analyst feel as if the Saints may have reached on this pick. Scouts had his projected draft spot in the range of rounds 5-6 yet the Saints took him in the fourth. If you felt that there was a need at quarterback, why not take one in an earlier round? At the end of the day, the Saints took a QB that they potentially see a future with somewhere down the line. So let him learn and when he’s ready, let him go ball out.
So did the Saints make a mistake? Should they have traded up to take Justin Fields in the first? Or take a QB in the second round such as Kellon Mond or Kyle Trask? Maybe. But the Saints felt confident enough to rock with the guys that they already have on the roster. The group that they have assembled, while somewhat questionable, is still better than a decent amount of QB rooms in the NFL. So let the guys on the roster give it a shot. Give Winston the opportunity that he deserves and see if he can be what the franchise needs. The team as a whole is talented and the quarterback will make or break them. It is still too early to say that the Saints make a mistake at the QB position this off-season, but in my eyes, they made all the right moves. And if it fails and the season goes down in flames, use the first round pick next year and draft the future of the franchise.