The New Orleans Saints added an extra first-round pick in case they want to target a quarterback in this month’s draft.
The Saints acquired two first-round picks from the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday in a major swap of assets.
The Eagles sent picks Nos. 16 and 19 and a sixth-rounder (No. 194) to the Saints for the 18th overall pick, a third-rounder (No. 101), a seventh-rounder (No. 237), to 2023 first-rounder and a 2024 second-rounder.
The move leaves both teams with two firsts later this month when the NFL holds its first draft in Las Vegas. Philadelphia kept the 15th overall pick it acquired from Miami in a draft swap last year.
The Saints brought back Jameis Winston on a two-year deal after pursuing Deshaun Watson, who was traded from Houston to Cleveland. New Orleans also signed veteran Andy Dalton to join Ian Book, a 2021 fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame.
Taysom Hill, who was 7-2 as a starting quarterback in relief of Drew Brees and Winston during the past two seasons, remains with the club as well, but is expected to serve in a more traditional tight end role in 2022.
Liberty’s Malik Willis, Mississippi’s Matt Corral, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Nevada’s Carson Strong and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder are projected to be the top six QBs drafted this month. The Saints could have their choice among those guys at No. 16, or they could package the two firsts to move up in the draft.
The Saints also have needs on the offensive line after losing three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency, and at safety following the retirement of three-time Pro Bowl pick Malcolm Jenkins.
The deal gives Philadelphia more draft capital in future years. The Eagles seem set on evaluating Jalen Hurts at quarterback for at least one more season and now have more flexibility with two firsts in 2023. They have 10 picks overall this month but more trades are likely.
BROWN: The Cleveland Browns filled a major need, signing free-agent punter Corey Bojorquez to a two-year contract.
Bojorquez spent last season with Green Bay. He averaged 46.5 yards on 53 punts, including a season-best 82 yarder for the Packers.
AFRICA: The NFL is opening a pathway for African players with a developmental camp in Ghana.
Following a camp this past weekend with Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who is of Ghanaian descent, the league announced a three-day camp will take place in the capital of Accra in June. It will feature players who previously participated at regional events led by Osi Umenyiora, the two-time Super Bowl-winning defensive end with the New York Giants.
Specific dates in June for the camp and a fan event have not been set, but the camp received the endorsement last weekend of Ghana’s vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
RAIDERS: The Las Vegas Raiders signed quarterback Nick Mullens to be the backup to Derek Carr and brought back defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins for a fifth season with the team.
Mullens has made 17 starts for San Francisco and Cleveland since being signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He gives the Raiders an experienced backup after Marcus Mariota left in free agency.
Sports Digest: Iga Swiatek becomes 1st Polish tennis player ranked No. 1