Derek Carr joining Saints could help Chargers significantly in 2023 NFL Draft
LA Chargers fans are not going to be rooting against Derek Carr any longer. After a long tenure with the Las Vegas Raiders, Carr's tenure in the AFC West is officially over as he signed a four-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Carr leaving the AFC West is a great thing for the Bolts. While Carr himself was not the most daunting quarterback, he certainly was not a bad quarterback. It is going to be hard for the Raiders to instantly find someone who is better, which will put them behind the eight-ball and create another quarterback carousel for that franchise.
That is not the only way that the Chargers could benefit from Carr leaving the division, though. Carr specifically joining the Saints of all teams (and the way in which it was done) could end up helping the Chargers significantly in the 2023 NFL Draft.
How so, you may ask? It all has to do with a potential trade-down in the first round.
How Derek Carr signing with the Saints helps the Chargers in the 2023 NFL Draft:
The New Orleans Saints are looking to win the wide-open NFC South in 2023. While the team has a lot of salary-cap issues to tend to, New Orleans is talented enough to win that division with someone like Carr under center.
Carr is going to need some more offensive help, though. While the team has a very promising young receiver in Chris Olave, there is not much else to write home about. Michael Thomas is likely leaving and even if the Saints keep him around, it is impossible to determine what he is going to be able to accomplish.
Tight end is also an area to improve for the Saints. Juwan Johnson was fine last year but if they could get an elite tight end then the offense could really open up for Carr.
And that is why this signing could benefit the Chargers. The 21st overall pick is actually a great spot for the Saints to try and trade up to because it is not too far where the team is going to have to send a heaping of assets. The Chargers are also a team that would benefit from trading down (with Tom Telesco even hinting at a potential move).
In fact, these two positions were swapped last year. The Kansas City Chiefs traded up from the 29th overall pick (which the Saints have from the 49ers) to the 21st pick. That cost them a late third-round and fourth-round pick.
New Orleans has shown that the team is willing to trade up in the past (doing so last year and for Marcus Davenport). The team also has already shown that it is willing to trade its third-round pick, as that was rumored to be the draft compensation sent to Las Vegas if Carr was traded.
There is a world in which one of the top-tier receivers or tight ends that the Saints really like falls to the 21st pick, prompting them to ring Tom Telesco and offer their third-round pick (72nd overall) to move up nine spots.
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The Chargers would be able to pick up an additional top-75 pick and the Saints would get Derek Carr an elite new weapon. It would be a win-win for both parties and would be one last gift from Carr to the Chargers.