The New Orleans Saints are among five teams without a first-round pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft. Which other teams are going to be missing out in April? Between trades (some ill-advised, others savvy) and, well, to quote Arrested Development's George Bluth Sr., "some light treason," multiple franchises will be spectators during the first round of this year's draft.
Misery loves company, right? Though we're guessing at least two teams are happy with how things have turned out after making bold moves. Let's break down how the Saints, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers wound up in their respective position, and which teams own their picks instead:
New Orleans Saints
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Let's hurry and make this quick so it's out of the way. The Saints would have been picking at No. 10 overall this year had they not traded their 2023 first rounder for another first-round selection in 2022, which they spent on left tackle Trevor Penning (this move also helped them navigate the board a bit, targeting wide receiver Chris Olave, though adding Penning was the main draw). Instead of conveying to New Orleans after their 7-10 season, it belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles, who are competing in the NFC championship game.
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The Browns sold out for Deshaun Watson last year and traded a couple years' worth of draft picks to the Houston Texans for him, including this pick which wound up at No. 12 overall. Watson rewarded their ambition by going 3-3 after serving his personal conduct policy violations suspension and completing a career-low 58.2% of his pass attempts, throwing 7 touchdown passes (plus a scoring run) against 5 interceptions while taking 20 sacks and fumbling once.
Los Angeles Rams
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The Detroit Lions received the No. 6 overall pick from the Rams this year, who traded it to them for the opportunity to pick up franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford. That decision helped Los Angeles win a Super Bowl in 2021 and you won't find many people within or outside of the organization complaining about it. They're biding time to go on another title run in 2023.
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Yeah, so - remember the "light treason" thing? Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was forced to forfeit his team's first rounder in 2023 after an NFL tampering investigation found he made illegal contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton in hopes of getting them both to Miami while they were still under contract with their previous teams. You can't do that. Ross was fined $1.5 million, suspended for much of the last year, and the Dolphins will also lose a third rounder in 2024. This pick would have slotted in at No. 21 overall but it's just wiped off the board altogether.
San Francisco 49ers
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The 49ers traded this pick to the Miami Dolphins a few years back so they could move up and select quarterback Trey Lance, but an unfortunate injury ended his season early in 2022. And it hasn't seemed to matter because San Francisco is right back in the NFC championship game with Philadelphia. The Dolphins later traded this pick to the Denver Broncos for pass rusher Bradley Chubb, by the way, and it's a valuable bargaining chip if Sean Payton wants to coach the Broncos. Depending on whether the 49ers advance to Super Bowl LVII, it could fall anywhere between Nos. 28 and 32. Stay tuned.
Story originally appeared on Saints Wire