The New Orleans select Defensive End Payton Turner at No. 28 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The biggest surprise first-round selection is made by the Saints at 28. Turner was thought to be a 2nd-3rd round pick by most. He came out of nowhere and dominated this past season. Turner has great length and should be able to use his length in combination with great size to get after the quarterback. He is a similar player to Marcus Davenport, who they took in the 1st round a few years ago.
The Saints are normally great at drafting, but this is a head-scratcher. They picked up Davenport’s fifth-year option and already have Cameron Jordan. They needed a cornerback or wide receiver, yet they passed on both. It wouldn’t have been shocking to see Turner available late in the 2nd. This was a significant reach at 28. -- JB