The 2021 NFL Draft Day is here, and things are heating up for the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans is rumored to be highly open to moving up in the draft, but for who? Perhaps VA Tech's CB Caleb Farley, whose long injury history has him sliding down draft boards?
Regardless of who they target, the consensus is that New Orleans is going after a cornerback in the first round. However, Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis have been known to surprise the loyal Who Dat Nation on Draft Night.
The Saints News Network Interns provide their final predictions for the 2021 NFL Draft:
It’s no surprise that the Saints have a gaping hole at cornerback that they need to fill within the first few draft rounds. With that being said, I’d love to see the Saints pick the cornerback with one of the best overall skill level in the draft: Caleb Farley. The Virginia Tech product had an impressive 90.5 coverage grade and a 36% completion percentage against in 2019 (Farley opted out in 2020 because of the COVID-19 Pandemic).
In addition to these gaudy statistics, his tape speaks for itself as he has great ball skills, high-end speed, and solid technique. He’s sliding down draft boards due to multiple back injuries, but his talent is worth the risk. I’d even be comfortable trading up for the early-20s to select him if that’s the board falling.
The New Orleans Saints need to address the defensive side of the ball if they want to remain competitive in the NFC. Headed into the 2021 NFL Draft, the biggest need on defense remains at cornerback. Multiple corners are worthy of a first-round selection, but I think the Saints should target Greg Newsome II from Northwestern.
Newsome has one of the highest ceilings in this year's draft as he held opposing quarterbacks to a 31.6% completion rate and has really solid footwork. He can do a little bit of everything and would fit nicely alongside Marshon Lattimore.
The greatest position of need for New Orleans is cornerback, and it’s not close. Since the release of veteran Jenoris Jankins, the Saints have yet to fill that position, and they must do so this draft. I’d love to see the Saints trade up and select one of the best man-to-man coverage corners in the draft, Jaycee Horn. The South Carolina cornerback has a tremendous size that allows him to be aggressive and dominant in not only man coverage but also press coverage. Horn’s 2020 campaign consisted of 239 coverage snaps while only allowing 8 receptions. He also held a 33% completion percentage which was best in the SEC.
New Orleans hold eight picks in this year's draft and can utilize those picks in trading up for the cornerback if he falls far enough. The best-case scenario would be the Saints trading up and avoid sacrificing future first-round draft picks. There is no doubt that Jaycee Horn would complement Marshon Lattimore on the opposite side in a division shaping up to be as competitive as ever.
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