Its pretty wild that college basketball is shifting into tournament mode, Spring Training baseball is filling daily box scores, the NHL just wrapped their trade deadline, and the NBA is pushing towards the playoffs...but the sports headlines in March are dominated by NFL news. TV screens full of bright red scrolls of "breaking news" and phones buzzing with alerts about new signings and players getting cut from NFL teams dwarfs all other sports.

This is the sports entertainment landscape in America.

By the way, no complaints here. The NFL does a much better job of serving their fans, meeting them where they are, and keeping the momentum going. Look at MLB, they blackout games from their own fans, they keep news locked down, and they push prices way too high.

The whole point here is that the NFL news is ROLLING right now. Which means we're going to take a look right now.

In the first part of the free agency period, the Saints have made some cuts, a few quiet re-signings, and have a couple visits scheduled with available players. But nothing they've done so far appears to impact their plans for the NFL Draft.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

So far, most of the smoke to the Saints' Draft fire has been based on the offensive line. While some believe they will go defense, it appears an offensive tackle might make the most sense. But where the Saints are picking may prevent them from getting one of the best tackle prospects. Which means the Saints could falls victim to the dreaded "best player available" pick.

I know, people aren't always a fan of this plan, but the Saints picking at #14 overall means they will need one of two things to happen for them to get a top tier pick:

1. A prospect slides down the draft because of a question mark

2. They make a trade up into the Top 10

In a normal year, I would tell you that a trade up would be unrealistic. But the Saints are faced with a dark reality...their window is closing.

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
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With players like Derek Carr, Cam Jordan, and Alvin Kamara having about 2-3 years left in NOLA, the team has to act now. Their salary cap situation is going to prevent them from making major splashes in the free agency pool, so if they're going to make a substantial upgrade, it will have to be in the draft.

In other words, this isn't the time for projects, this is the time for players.

Right now, the biggest need for the Saints is on defense, and its getting pressure on quarterbacks. Cam Jordan is great, but he needs help.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

There was some talk in the past few weeks about UCLA end Laiatu Latu could drop to the Saints at #14, and if they believe that will happen, they don't need to move. But if they want to swing big at the position, they will need to trade up to get Florida State end Jared Verse. It might take a trade into the top 10 to get Verse, but the 6'4, 260 pound end could start on day 1.

Virginia Tech v Florida State
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

If the Saints REALLY want to swing big on defense, they will have to likely trade even higher to get Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner. He's projected to play somewhere between a stand-up end and outside linebacker. But he gets after the quarterback no matter what.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

At the end of the day though, we're talking about the New Orleans Saints...prepare to see them take a guard with a second round grade at #14 overall.

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