The New Orleans Saints addressed their biggest positional need early in the third-round of the 2021 NFL Draft. GM Mickey Loomis traded selections No. 98 and No. 105 to the Denver Broncos for pick No. 76. New Orleans used the pick to select Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo.
The lengthy and quick defensive back helps fill an immediate need on defense for the Saints. The selection also gave the Who Dat Nation a chance to exhale following two seemingly uncharacteristic draft selections in rounds 1 and 2.
Below the Saints News Network Krewe provides their grades on the New Orleans Saints' third-selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.
It felt like the Saints weren't going to get a cornerback, but they made a good move trading up to get Stanford's Paulson Adebo. The trade compensation was fine, and the more we look at and hear about Adebo, there's certain vibes you're starting to get about how he might have been a very interesting steal for New Orleans. This may not rule out the team bringing in another veteran after the draft, but it might take someone like Richard Sherman off the table.
It could still happen, but perhaps someone like Casey Hayward, Bashaud Breeland, or any of the other veterans who are currently available. Adebo has the tools and makeup you love about a corner, and I love NFL.com's comparison to Sean Murphy-Bunting. He should pair extremely well opposite of Marshon Lattimore for now, and the thought of him working with secondary coach Kris Richard really makes it exciting.
Paulson Adebo was the best available cornerback prospect left on the board when the Saints finally selected him in the 3rd round. He brings good height and an excellent burst to the ball in off coverage. I'd like to see him play a little more physical in press coverage, but he will definitely be an immediate contributor as a nickel corner with the upside of complementing Marshon Lattimore as the number two cornerback.
New Orleans finally grabbed a cornerback in the Draft, and it only took 76 picks. It appeared the organization was focused on trading up into the Top-10 picks on Thursday night; perhaps to snag one of the best defensive backs in this year's draft class. However, they were unable to find a trade partner and the Saints remained patient and waited for their guy.
Adebo was a playmaker for the Stanford Cardinals with 27 pass break ups and collecting 8 interceptions during his collegiate career. He is a big bodied corner who needs to grow his physique. Adebo, due to his size and speed, can become the perfect chess piece against an abundance of large and quick receiving talent in the NFC South.
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