Sports

Sources: Saints attempting to move into top 10

METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has been talking to teams about moving up from pick No. 28 of the 2021 NFL draft into the top 10, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

A quarterback is not the Saints’ primary target, according to sources, despite the fact that Drew Brees announced his retirement last month. They actually have their sights on another position.

Coach Sean Payton singled out cornerback last week as a position New Orleans must “address between now and the start of the season.” He also said quarterback is not a must since the team is high on starting candidates Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.

The Saints’ aggressive approach should come as little surprise since they have traded up a whopping 20 times in the past 14 years — including a move up from No. 27 to No. 14 to select defensive end Marcus Davenport in 2018.

“One thing that I think we’ve done in the past is we’ve found somebody that we love and we’ve oftentimes made moves to go get that player or players,” Loomis said in his pre-draft press conference Wednesday. “So if that’s the definition of aggressive, then I like it.”

The only difference this year is that the Saints have more starting positions up in the air. Not only did Brees retire, but they also parted with cornerback Janoris Jenkins, receiver Emmanuel Sanders, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, linebackers Kwon Alexander and Alex Anzalone, defensive tackles Malcom Brown and Sheldon Rankins, tight ends Jared Cook and Josh Hill, guard Nick Easton and punter Thomas Morstead as part of a massive salary-cap reduction.

The Saints have less than $1 million in cap space heading into this draft.

However, when asked if their approach would change this year because they have so many holes to fill, Loomis said, “I probably look a little differently. I don’t see a lot of holes in our roster.”

“In terms of our roster, I think it’s hard to make our team,” Loomis continued. “I think we have a lot of talent at a lot of positions. And when you look at each of these position groups, a lot of times it’s hard to envision a rookie coming in and displacing some of our veterans.

“So I wouldn’t say that volume is a priority for us. I think quality is a priority for us.”

The Saints’ interest in trading into the top 10 was first reported by NFL Network and Fox Sports.

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