Are the Saints trying to trade up for Justin Fields?

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It appears the New Orleans Saints are gearing up for a trade in the NFL Draft, but for whom? 

With the NFL Draft approaching, two teams in the Top 10 have already made moves that will likely dictate the flow of the first round. But one team outside of that range appears to be gearing up to make a move that will cause a ripple effect across the board.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New Orleans Saints have quietly been doing their homework on what it would take to trade up in the draft. New Orleans has even gone as far as to call a team in the Top 10 to gauge the market.

“In a relatively quiet trade market thus far, the Saints appear to be the team doing the most groundwork for a potential trade up,” Rapoport reported on Thursday morning. “They’ve even called into the Top 10 to gauge value. For a [cornerback]? Would be a steep price, but they aren’t afraid to be bold.”

Yeah, sure, a cornerback.

Who are the New Orleans Saints trading up to draft?

Let’s just get this out of the way: The Saints are not trading into the Top 10 to draft Patrick Surtain II. Just like the 49ers, who traded three first round picks to move up to No. 3, the Saints would almost certainly be mortgaging their future to finally draft the heir to the throne recently vacated by Drew Brees.

Then again, maybe they aren’t. Nothing would be more bold than trading up and not taking a top quarterback on the board.

History lends credence to this theory.

Back in 2017 the Saints traded a first and fifth round pick to move up 13 spots to draft. At the time, almost everyone though the move was to draft Lamar Jackson, who was the last top quarterback on the board but was slipping down the first round. Instead, the Saints drafted defensive end Marcus Davenport.

Davenport has been a great addition to the Saints defensive line, but Lamar Jackson is an MVP and is exactly what Sean Payton keeps trying to convince himself that Taysom Hill is (but isn’t).

There’s also the matter of value to consider. The Saints moved from No. 27 to No. 14 the year they drafted Davenport. This year New Orleans would have to move up as many as 18 spots to get into the Top 10 — which is the other thing, they’d be trading into the Top 10 which comes with its own premium.

Paying such a steep price would almost certainly point toward the move being to draft the successor the Brees’ throne. But history has shown us the Saints love to be unconventional and nothing would send Football Twitter into a tailspin faster than New Orleans paying the price of trading up for a quarterback only to draft a different position.