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New Orleans Saints in play for Paxton Lynch?

Two days away from the 2016 NFL Draft, the Saints have emerged as a team with plenty of interest in landing a promising rookie quarterback.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that New Orleans staged internal talks about moving up to No. 1 before the Los Angeles Rams swung a monster deal with the Titans for the first overall pick. The terms of that swap proved too costly for the Saints, but could they have their eye on Paxton Lynch out of Memphis?

"If they feel strongly about Paxton Lynch, they are a team to watch late in the Top 10," Rapoport tweeted.

Armed with the No. 12 overall pick, the Saints sit in solid position to move up if they believe the 49ers (at No. 7) or Browns (at No. 8) could jump on Lynch come Thursday night.

NFL Media draft expert and former league scout Daniel Jeremiah also sees New Orleans addressing their depth under center, matching Lynch with the Saints at No. 12 in his latest mock draft.

"(Quarterback) Drew Brees isn't going to play forever and (coach) Sean Payton just signed a long-term extension," Jeremiah wrote. "He needs to start planning for the future and I'm not sure (second-year passer) Garrett Grayson is the answer."

Grayson was selected in the third round of last year's draft, but didn't see a single attempt behind Brees, who told NFL HQ on Tuesday: "I definitely feel like I've got quite a few more (years) but I'm taking it one year at a time because as you know, you've got to prove it every year."

The Saints have been looking for a young signal-caller to groom dating back to 2014. Rapoport suggested two Novembers ago that the team was thinking about using a high pick on a quarterback last year. If they don't believe Grayson can serve as the rightful heir to Brees, Lynch could be the answer to that quest.

Lynch spoke about the possibility of being selected by the Saints while appearing Tuesday on NFL Network's NFL Total Access Draft Preview.

"The way I see it is, if you go to a place where you have to sit behind a guy and learn, that can do nothing but benefit you in my opinion, because you get a chance to get behind somebody that's a good player," Lynch said. "Someone like Drew Brees with the Saints. He's been through it before ... he's had a great career there and he's won a Super Bowl, so a guy like that knows what kind of work you've got to put in to win championships and knows how to do it the right way."

In his fascinating annual look at the quarterback prospects, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel heard plenty of praise from scouts about Lynch's potential.

"He's the guy I like," one scout said. "He's got the poise, the vision. You can see what Memphis has done since he's been there. Guy beat Mississippi and put Memphis on the map. Good athlete. Got all the things I look for in a guy."

While a second scout called Lynch "a ways away mentally," a third scout summed up the risk-and-reward proposition: "You might hit the home run with Lynch but because of the mental you might strike out. He has the best arm. It ain't even close. That big, tall son of a gun can run, too. He's a little spacy, a little different."

The opinion that matters most in this corner of the universe is Payton's. If the Saints coach believes Lynch can keep the operation moving for years to come in New Orleans, moving up to grab him makes a ton of sense.

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