Under Sean Payton, New Orleans are recognized for building from the inside out. In the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Saints did just that this afternoon. GM Mickey Loomis traded two draft selections (No. 218 and No. 229) to move up in the sixth-round and select All-SEC offensive tackle Landon Young.
Over the past two seasons, Young has ranked among the best in the South Eastern Conference with a PFF grade of 84.6 in Pass Protection and 76.8 in Run Blocking. Here is what draft analysts from the NFL Network and NFL Draft Bible have to say about the newest member of the Black and Gold.
A five-star prospect and top 15 overall recruit nationally, Young decided to sign with his hometown Wildcats. He was a two-time first-team all-state pick at Lexington's Lafayette High School, as well as the state's Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year for his efforts in the discus and shot put. Young also won the state wrestling title at 285 pounds as a senior. He started three of 10 games played at left tackle as a true freshman in 2016, then six of 13 games at that spot his sophomore season.
A meniscus injury sidelined him for 2018 but he came back to start all 13 contests in 2019. Young was named the captain of the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his work in the community. The accolades continued to roll in during the 2020 season, as he garnered a first-team All-SEC nod as an 11-game starter at left tackle.
Coming to the Wildcats as a former five-star recruit, optimism was high for left tackle Young. Despite suffering through some durability concerns, Young has provided rock-solid play for one of the SEC’s most talented units. From a physical perspective, he hits all the size and length thresholds a team would want at tackle. While he shouldn’t be coined as possessing an imposing power profile, Young does have enough in terms of power to give opposing defensive players some problems. As a pass blocker, he frames relatively well.
He gets his body in sound position, mirroring well against an array of movements up front. For a former blue-chip recruit, Young is not the athlete you would imagine; possibly due to his string of injuries. His lateral mobility is underwhelming and he struggles to move off of his spot. Young’s hands also leave a lot to be desired. In pass protection, his hands can fire late and outside, creating some troubling positions.
Starter upside should be a huge question for Young. With an adequate amount of size, length and power however, Young has a chance to chisel out a role as a swing tackle at the next level.
Top Remaining Needs
- Wide Receiver
- Defensive Tackle
- Tight End
Saints Remaining Picks:
- Round Seven, 255th Overall
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