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Saints 2021 Draft Picks: Payton Turner Taken at 28th Overall

The Saints shocked many with taking a pass rusher in Payton Turner out of Houston.

Despite all of the rumors and smokescreens, the Saints didn't trade up. They were able to make a selection at 28th, and they drafted Houston defensive end Payton Turner. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Elijah Moore were both there, but the Saints opt for a pass rusher.

Draft Profile Notes (

Three-year starter who has shown a continued level of positional growth that requires the attention of NFL evaluators. Turner is a big, long 4-3 defense end with natural play strength and a surprising level of bend and agility for his size. His technique and footwork are a little spotty, though. He plays with a narrow base and tall pad level, which will always be something he has to work around. He's growing into his frame and his talent. The tape shows a player who is beginning to understand his own strength and athletic potential. His pass rush plan is limited, but he has a go-to move that opens the door to quarterbacks. Once he gets an advantage, he is an absolute menace to recover against for blockers. His size and play traits will have both odd- and even-front defenses interested in him as a talented three-down starter who is still on the way up.

Top Remaining Needs

  • Cornerback
  • Linebacker
  • Wide Receiver
  • Offensive Line
  • Defensive Tackle
  • Tight End
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Saints Remaining Picks

  • Round Two, 60th Overall
  • Round Three, 98th Overall
  • Round Three, 105th Overall
  • Round Four, 133rd Overall
  • Round Six, 218th Overall
  • Round Seven, 229th Overall
  • Round Seven, 255th Overall

Full First Round Results

  1. Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  3. 49ers - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  4. Falcons - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  5. Bengals - Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  6. Dolphins - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  7. Lions - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  8. Panthers - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
  9. Broncos - Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
  10. Eagles - DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama (Trade with Cowboys)
  11. Bears - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (Trade with Giants)
  12. Cowboys - Micah Parson, LB, Penn State
  13. Chargers - Rashawn Slater, OL, Northwestern
  14. Jets - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC (Trade with Vikings)
  15. Patriots - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  16. Cardinals - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
  17. Raiders - Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
  18. Dolphins - Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
  19. Washington Football Team - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
  20. Giants - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
  21. Colts - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
  22. Titans - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
  23. Vikings - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
  24. Steelers - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  25. Jaguars - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  26. Browns - Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern
  27. Ravens - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  28. Saints - Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston
  29. Packers - Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
  30. Bills - Greg Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
  31. Ravens - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
  32. Buccaneers - Joe Tryon, EDGE, Washington