Saints trade up to annoyingly steal a Buccaneers draft target on Day 2

Well, there goes that dream.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't go on the clock until the 57th pick on Day 2, they felt the brunt of a pick made much earlier.

The New Orleans Saints moved up four spots to draft a player that feels like they had the Buccaneers in mind when making the pick. Kool-Aid McKinstry was the guy New Orleans moved up to get, or at least was afraid might get scooped up between No. 41 and No. 45.

McKinstry was on the Buccaneers' radar throughout the draft process, and seemed like a perfect fit. Things ended up working out alright in the end, as Tampa Bay wound up drafting Chris Braswell to secure some edge rusher depth, but it's still notable -- and annoying -- that the Saints moved up and landed a guy that the Bucs might have wanted.

Saints trade up to draft Kool-Aid McKinstry in Round 2

Not only did the Saints take McKinstry before he could fall to the Bucs at No. 57, they traded up to get him.

The Saints traded three picks to move into Green Bay's spot at No. 41 to draft McKinstry, which could be viewed as an endorsement of just how well things went for Baker Mayfield and the Bucs last season. New Orleans needs to find a way to stop the Bucs, something they failed to do in a meaingful way last year despite beating them in Tampa Bay late in the season.

It wasn't enough to get past them in the NFC South standings, though, and it's not just Tampa Bay that the Saints need to be worried about.

For as much fun as we've all made of Atlanta since last night, the Falcons are expected to be better than they were last season. Carolina probably won't be as bad as they were either, and all three teams are gearing up their offenses for big things in 2024.

McKinstry makes sense for the Saints not only for those reasons but as a potential replacement for Marshon Lattimore.

We'll have to see how he pans out in the pros, but at the very least it's a move that flicks the Bucs' ear. There are plenty of cornerbacks in this class, but McKinstry was already mocked to Tampa Bay at No. 26 so the idea of him being there on Day 2 felt like a dream.

New Orleans trading up to get him goes to show not only how highly thought of he is but also seems like an admission that the Saints know they're a step behind the Bucs offense.

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