What to make of Hendon Hooker’s pre-NFL draft visit with the Saints? Our writers weigh in.

What to make of Hendon Hooker's pre-NFL draft visit with the Saints? Our writers weigh in.
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We have made it to April, and the NFL draft is three weeks away.

What does that mean for the New Orleans Saints? Our crew of beat writers and columnists got together for a roundtable discussion to answer some of the biggest questions facing the team before the draft. Our writers also chime in on what they would do if given the power to make decisions for the Saints.

Here’s the first of five questions (and our answers):

1. Let’s start with the news of the day: The Saints are reportedly set to host Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker on a draft visit Tuesday. What do you make of that, and what would you think if the Saints were to use one of their top picks on a quarterback?

Luke Johnson: This sounds like a classic Saints fact-finding mission with the future in mind. The Saints gave every indication that Derek Carr is their quarterback, of the present and the future, after they signed him to a $150 million free-agent deal, and they have an accomplished No. 2 in the building in Jameis Winston. It never hurts to have as many good quarterbacks on your roster as possible, and I’m really high on Hooker’s professional prospects, but it would be a surprise to see the team use its best draft and free agent assets on the same position — especially because the Saints have signaled to everyone they believe they’re a contender right now.

Terrin Waack: ​​It’s a smart move. The Saints have Derek Carr as their QB1, but he’s 32 years old with nine seasons under his belt and signed up for four more in New Orleans. After that, though, the Saints are going to need a new starting quarterback once again. Always need to think of the future of the franchise. Drafting a quarterback, taking the time to develop him and then inserting him into an offense he has learned is a good plan. And even if the Saints don’t keep him around that long, they can use him as trade leverage down the road. Gaining a young, talented quarterback is a win-win.

Rod Walker: At some point, the Saints probably want to draft a quarterback they can let learn the system while under the tutelage of a seasoned veteran. The Ian Book experiment didn’t go so well. Hooker, on the other hand, has much more potential.. He turned 25 in January, so there may be some age concerns there, considering he probably wouldn’t even get a shot to start in New Orleans until he turns 28. Taking him with the first-round pick would be a bit of a reach because the team has some other more important holes to fill. But if they really like him, taking him with the 40th pick wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.

Jeff Duncan: I wouldn’t make too much of it. The Saints, like all teams, get to bring 30 draft prospects to town for pre-draft visits, so they’re not going to draft every player they have on campus. Hooker’s visit makes sense for myriad reasons. First of all, he’s coming off major knee surgery, so the visit provides an opportunity to get an updated medical check-up. Hooker is graded as a first-to-second-round prospect, which is right in the Saints’ wheelhouse in this draft. That said, Hooker is what I call a Saints Kinda Guy. He has the maturity, leadership and productive track record the Saints look for in their prospects. With Derek Carr under contract for at least the next two seasons, the Saints have the luxury of selecting a prospect like Hooker to develop as a long-term option at the position if they elect to go in that direction.


About Mary Weyand 14963 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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