NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — This Thursday and Friday, the Saints can have it all.

In the first round, they can draft an offensive tackle and a wide receiver, and get their franchise quarterback, in the second round.

It can happen. With picks 16 and 19, the Saints can let the board come to them.

And, then in the second round, move up if necessary to draft Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Ridder checks all the boxes.

He’s a leader, a winner, a quick decision-maker, and he is very careful with the football. In his last three seasons as a starter, Ridder has thrown 23 interceptions. That’s outstanding ball security.

Ridder also checks all of the boxes in the Bill Parcell’s quarterback commandments.

  • Be a three-year starter
  • Be a senior in college
  • Graduate from college
  • Start 30 games
  • Win 23 games
  • Post a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio
  • Compete at least 60-percent of passes thrown

According to the University of Cincinnati, Ridder graduated with a degree in sports management in three years. His grade-point average was a very solid 3.3.

So, it is all there for the Saints.

In the first round, draft two starters who can help you go deep in the playoffs this season. And, while that is happening, get your quarterback of the future-ready for 2023 or beyond.

Next year’s quarterback class features potential stars Bryce Young of Alabama, and CJ Stroud of Ohio State. But, the only way for the Saints to get a chance at one of those two is to be terrible (they won’t be), or spend an enormous amount of draft capital to get into the top five picks in the draft.

And, the Saints don’t have a first-round pick in 2023. It was dealt to the Eagles.

Former Rams and Redskins coach George Allen used to say the future is now. The Saints can draft for the now, and a quarterback with talent and all the intangibles in round 2.