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Saints’ Lack of 1st-Round Pick Could Correlate to On-Field Success

The New Orleans Saints lack a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, if history serves as an indicator, that might instead serve as a positive.

In the last five seasons, 12 of the 16 teams without a first-round pick qualified for the playoffs in the next year according to NOLA.com. In the last 10 seasons, 21 of 34 teams without a first-round pick made the playoffs according to NOLA.com.

In 2018, all four teams (Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles) without a first-round pick reached the postseason.

With the Saints returning a strong core of young contributors on both sides of the ball, there isn’t a pressing need to have a first-round pick.

Last season, the Saints sent their 2018 and 2019 first-round picks to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the rights to defensive end Marcus Davenport with the No.14 selection.

ESPN guru Mel Kiper Jr. explains how the Saints don’t have a glaring hole to pursue at the top of the draft. Kiper Jr. believes the Saints should target a wide receiver in the draft but that one can be found in the later rounds.

“They’re a team that’s not that far,” Kiper Jr. said according to NOLA.com. “Obviously, they don’t need a lot. They feel like they really should have been in the Super Bowl, very easily could have been.”

The Saints signed Malcom Brown and Mario Edwards to shore up the defensive tackle position, which coach Sean Payton deemed their biggest need according to NOLA.com. The Saints also signed tight end Jared Cook, center Nick Easton to take the spot of the retiring Max Unger, and running back Latavius Murray to replace Mark Ingram, who is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Saints also do not have a third or fourth round pick. The Saints sent their third-round pick to the New York Jets for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and their fourth-round pick to the New York Giants for cornerback Eli Apple.

The reigning NFC South champion Saints have plenty of depth on their roster. But that isn’t stopping Jeff Ireland, assistant general manager and college scouting director, from doing his due diligence.

Ireland is ruling out the possibility of any draft day trades.

“You’ve got to have ammunition to do that, but if there’s a player there that attracts us, then no doubt,” Ireland said to NOLA.com.