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Saints Top Rookies Making an Impact

The early defensive impact of Saints rookies Payton, Pete, and Paulson.

NFL analyst Brian Baldinger coined their nickname, the three P's, "Payton, Pete, and Paulson." Payton, Pete, and Paulson read like a law firm's business card. Actually, these are the first names of New Orleans' top-three draft choices from the New Orleans Saints in 2021. 

Payton Pete, Paulson

Payton Turner, Pete Warner, and Paulson Adebo have already made their mark for the New Orleans Saints this season.

Payton Turner


First-round pick Payton Turner has been a little banged-up from an elbow injury. Dennis Allen has inserted him into 37% of the defensive snaps, and 15% of the special teams snaps in the four games. Turner's effectiveness has been more than the statistics would show on the game card. New Orleans' young edge rusher is strong, fast, and shifty while registering one sack, nine tackles, three TFL, five hurries, and three QB Hits. 


Pete Warner was missed the season opener against Green Bay while nursing a hamstring injury from training camp. Werner has started since Week 3 in New England and hasn't disappointed the Saints' coaching staff.  In the last two games, Werner's turned up the juice by recording double-digit tackles. 

Against the Giants and the Washington Football Team, the second-round pick recorded 10 and 13 tackles, respectively. The former Buckeye has played in 45% of the defensive snaps and 12% of the special teams' snaps. His 25 tackles (15 solo, ten assists) are fourth on the defensive unit behind Davis, Jenkins, and Adebo. Get this, Werner has only missed one tackle!

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Brian Baldinger says Werner is "efficient" as a defender. Quarterbacks have targeted him 11 times in coverage, and he's yielded 81.8% of passes for an average of 3.9 yards per completion. The young linebacker will learn. It may be hard to keep him off of the field when Alexander returns.

New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29)


Paulson Adebo, the third-round selection, is becoming a nice bookend opposite cornerback Marshon Lattimore. He has started all five games and became a quarterback target since day one. Abebo has made Rodgers and Heinicke pay for picking on him with a pair of interceptions inside the red zone. The Stanford product is third in tackles with 23 (20 solo, two assisted) and two passes defended.

The young corner allowed completions on 22-of-36 targets for an average of 12.5 yards/completion and two touchdowns. He must improve on the six missed tackles, on the other hand he shows plenty of promise as a cover corner.

The future of the New Orleans Saints defense looks encouraging with these budding young stars. The talent is there. How will the rookies continue to impact the remaining 12 games on the schedule?

We shall see.