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Ex-GM Bill Polian sees New Orleans Saints trading up

A year ago, the New Orleans Saints traded up in the first round of the NFL draft to acquire a dynamic wide receiver in Brandin Cooks, one of five trades made on the first day of the draft that impacted the first round.

This year, according to former NFL general manager Bill Polian, the club could trade up again -- but this time, for a defensive player.

"I'm not sure they're going to stand pat," the former GM of the Colts, Panthers and Bills said, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. "I think they have ammunition to move up, and it's ... possible they'd do so, particularly if the key defensive players start to come off the board early. That's the reason for trying to move up."

The ammunition, of course, is a cache of nine draft choices that includes two in the first round (Nos. 13 and 31), two in the third (Nos. 75 and 78), and two in the fifth (Nos. 148 and 154). For any club drafting ahead of the Saints and interested in trading down, they figure to be an excellent partner and perhaps the first phone call to make.

So which defensive players might the Saints have their eye on? They could use a pass-rushing outside linebacker, and three of them are strong candidates to be chosen in the top 10: Florida's Dante Fowler, Clemson's Vic Beasley and Missouri's Shane Ray. Five of six NFL Media analysts project the Saints to draft a pass rusher with their first choice, either Nebraska's Randy Gregory -- who just visited the club -- or Kentucky's Bud Dupree.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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