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No rush for Saints to find Drew Brees replacement in this year's draft

Ranking the New Orleans Saints' top draft needs. At No. 10 is quarterback:

Current depth chart:

Drew Brees, age 37

Luke McCown, age 34

Garrett Grayson, age 24

Griffin Neal, age 23

Outlook: The Saints have done some serious homework on the top quarterback prospects this year, including California's Jared Goff and Memphis' Paxton Lynch -- which indicates they’re at least kicking around the idea of drafting one at No. 12 overall. But I’d still be pretty stunned to see them do it, and I don’t believe they should.

Yes, the Saints will eventually need to replace Brees, and quarterback is by far the most important position in the game. But if they draft a quarterback this high, it’s hard to imagine that they will re-sign Brees to an extension past the 2016 season. So New Orleans would essentially be kicking one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks out the door while he is still playing at an elite level.

That seems nuts. The Saints shouldn’t be in any rush to replace Brees until they’re forced to, and that could still be three or four years away.

New Orleans would have to really love a prospect like Lynch to do that, and most analysts agree that Lynch is no sure thing -- an immense talent who still needs a lot of development. If Lynch or Michigan State's Connor Cook somehow falls to the Saints in Round 2, perhaps it would make more sense. But they’d still have to really love the prospect to use such a valuable pick.

The Saints have also reportedly visited with at least two later-round QB prospects, Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld and USC’s Cody Kessler. But they don’t have to draft a quarterback at all, since they drafted a developmental prospect in Grayson in Round 3 last year.

The Saints’ interest in this year’s QB crop seems to indicate they aren’t set on Grayson. But it’s still too early to predict whether Grayson will pan out, since he essentially redshirted last season.

Previous rankings:

No. 13-11 (RB, TE, specialists)