With Drew Brees in his 36th year and hitting free agency in 2017, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints drafted Garrett Grayson with the eleventh pick in the third round of the 2015 draft. When Sean Payton speaks, we should listen. So are you listening?
There was much debate before the draft over who would be third quarterback off the board behind Winston and Mariota. Grayson was a bit of a surprise to most when he went ahead of Hundley and Petty, but Sean Payton and the Saints have made bold moves in the draft before when they had a belief in a player (paging mister Cooks, mister Brandin Cooks), so their decision to not gamble on trading back and getting him later in the third or even in the fourth round behind other big name quarterbacks speaks volumes. We don’t yet know where other teams had Grayson on their boards to be perfectly honest, but the Saints said afterwards that if they hadn’t drafted Grayson, they probably wouldn’t have drafted a quarterback.
Garrett Grayson is a 6’2 210lb quarterback out of Colorado State who simply doesn’t run, much like Drew Brees and Grayson’s childhood model, Peyton Manning. His strength is throwing from the pocket, period. In 2014 he threw for 4006 yards, riding a 32 to 7 TD to Int ratio, completing 64% of his passes¹. This was an increase in total yards and in yards per attempt from the prior year, meaning he should still be growing into his potential when he hits Saints training camp.
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For dynasty fantasy football purposes, I think savvy owners (especially Drew Brees owners) should start looking for Garrett Grayson in the mid- to late third round. In 2QB and Superflex leagues, I would start looking to add him around the late second round. He’s currently still “under the radar” in a class short on starting QB talent, having been talked about very little to this point. Having watched some of his tape, his downsides are average arm strength and consistency but I think these can be coached with better body control and a better offensive line in front of him. At 23 years old, he’s already mature for a drafted quarterback but his interviews show a great deal of confidence and intelligence. With a year or two to develop under Brees, he will have a shot at taking the lead role later, and I think it’s a good shot.
Things are going to start aligning for Garrett Grayson as Brees continues his gradual decline and Sean Peyton and the Saints know it. During the televised draft it was pointed out by Rich Eisen that this is the highest that New Orleans has taken a quarterback since 1971 when they picked up Archie Manning at 2nd overall. Are you listening to Sean Payton yet? You need to get out in front of this train.
Sports Reference College Football (n.d.) Garrett Grayson from https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/garrett-grayson-1.html