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Mickey Loomis: Potential Alvin Kamara suspension won’t influence who we pick

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Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed give their biggest predictions for the 2023 NFL Draft, including the Detroit Lions picking Anthony Richardson at No. 6, and Bijan Robinson being selected in the top 10 overall.

Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said on Wednesday that he is open to taking a running back in the first round of the draft, but not because of the uncertainty about Alvin Kamara’s availability for the entire 2023 season.

Kamara has pleaded not guilty to battery charges related to a 2022 incident in Las Vegas and faces potential discipline from the NFL because of the case. Loomis said that the team will not be using the draft to prepare for Kamara’s potential absence.

“It’s not going to influence who we pick,” Loomis said, via Luke Johnson of NOLA.com. “That’s a short-term issue — and we don’t know what it’s going to be yet. Am I concerned about it? Certainly, it’s going to affect our team if something happens there, but it’s a temporary issue.”

Loomis acknowledged that the view of running backs is different than it was when he made the call to select Reggie Bush and Mark Ingram in the first round, but said all positions have value and that a decision about whether to take a running back early depends on “level of talent and the impact the player can make.” The Saints are set to pick 29th overall after acquiring that selection from the Broncos in exchange for the right to hire head coach Sean Payton.