The Saints are smart to keep Taysom Hill to succeed Drew Brees.
It may seem crazy, but the New Orleans Saints seem to have their quarterback of the future in Taysom Hill. For 2020, Drew Brees is the Saints’ starter and it remains to be seen how much longer the 41-year old will be under center in New Orleans.
When Brees does decide to hang it up, it will be Hill’s job to lose. That proposition may seem crazy to many, if not all, NFL fans. Hill will be 30-years old at the start of the 2020 season and has only thrown 13 passes throughout his three years playing for New Orleans.
Is that really enough of a sample size for the Saints to trust the future of their franchise in Hill? That is going to be the big question moving forward. Last season when Brees got hurt, New Orleans turned to Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, not Hill.
For this season, Jameis Winston signed a cheap contract to join the Saints’ quarterback room. The New Orleans depth chart has Winston as the backup to Brees.
If Brees is to go down this season, who will the Saints turn to at quarterback? The obvious choice seems to be Winston, but what does that say about New Orleans if they make that decision after saying previously they want Hill to be their next long-term quarterback?
The next question to ask is what if Winston plays and looks really good? That will set the former Tampa Bay quarterback for a massive payday come 2021. But, could it come with the Saints?
That is the major question, and if New Orleans is serious about Hill, wouldn’t it make more sense for him to be the direct backup to Brees? And if that is the case, then why did Winston sign there? It’s hard to envision him doing it to be a third-string quarterback.
What if the Saints want Hill to be their quarterback when Brees retires?
Then it would make sense that he gets the reps behind Brees, and not Winston. To add, the Saints would need to lessen the number of times Hill is used as a gadget player. For there to be confidence in Hill to be a starting quarterback, there is going to be a larger passing sample size than 6/13.
Even with all that being said, it may actually be the Saints’ best future plan to have Hill take over for Brees. The former BYU quarterback presents a set of skills that could make him very hard to defend against. Think possibly similar to what the Ravens do with Lamar Jackson.
No matter what New Orleans does with Hill, he will need to prove he has the passing abilities to make it at the NFL level. At BYU, Hill played between 2012-16, but only started full-time in two of those seasons. He was a career 58 percent passer in college, with 43 touchdowns to 31 interceptions.
Those are not numbers that jump off the page and certainly not numbers that would make it easy to believe in Hill as an NFL quarterback. But if he has developed as much as a passer as we have been led to believe, then it may be worth a shot.
It’s hard to doubt Sean Payton when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, so in this situation, we may just have to take his word for it on Hill’s abilities. The only way to find out if he can stick is he gets the opportunity to play.
Hill is going to be 30 when the season starts, and if he is the starting quarterback in 2021, it won’t be until his 31-year-old season. With that in mind, plus all the uncertainty, it would still make sense for the Saints to have some kind of younger backup plan in case Hill doesn’t pan out.
While there may be a lot of uncertainties surrounding Hill playing quarterback, it is intriguing. And a plan that may be high risk, but could reap a very high reward if it is to work out.
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