If you were hoping for the New Orleans Saints to add a young quarterback into the mix at some point during the 2021 NFL Draft, you may come out of it disappointed. While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, head coach Sean Payton noted that the club was going through its final preparations prior to the draft kicking off next Thursday. Naturally, he was asked about New Orleans' quarterback position, which is set to have a new face following Drew Brees' retirement earlier this offseason. Payton didn't exactly keep his cards too close to the vest at that spot by revealing that it isn't an area of great need for the organization this year.
"We're mindful of our depth at each position," Payton said, via the official team website. "We're currently in our final (draft) board readings on the defensive side of the ball. I think relative to [the quarterback] position, it still stays the same in traits that we're looking for. (But) I don't think it's a 'must' position. We feel like we've got real good players in the building."
Those players, of course, are quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, who'll compete for the starting job in 2021. Payton added that the organization feels strongly about both, which could be part of the reason why there isn't a greater emphasis to find a quarterback at the draft. New Orleans is also slated to pick late in the first round (No. 28) which is well out of the range of any of the top-five players at the position, so that may make the decision even easier for them to simply roll out Winston and Hill and see which one sticks in camp.
When Brees was sidelined for four games last season, it was Hill who replaced him as the starter over Winston and he was able to lead them to a 3-1 record over that stretch. That said, Winston -- a former No. 1 overall pick -- has experience starting in the NFL from his days with the Buccaneers and should be better versed in the offense after spending a full season behind Brees.
"I think that year was important for him, but I also think it was important for him to see our program, so both sides benefited from that year," Payton said of Winston. "He came in and picked things up, he's someone that picks it up quickly. And Taysom has been with us for awhile now. Both those guys, you don't have to worry about their approach and how they work."
In his latest seven-round mock draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson does have New Orleans taking a quarterback -- Florida's Kyle Trask -- on Day Two. While we'll have to wait and see if that pick actually comes to fruition, it does seem clear that Payton and the Saints are committed to seeing either Hill or Winston ascend to QB1 for at least next season.