New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo has a strong chance of not only making the team's 53-man roster, but also becoming a starter at cornerback.
All-Pro cornerback Marshon Lattimore's return as a starter is up in the air after his recent legal entanglement in Cleveland this past March. The New Orleans Saints and NFL have not issued an official announcement on his status for the season opener against the Green Packers.
The young corner will join cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore, Patrick Robinson, PJ Williams, Ken Crawley, Keith Washington, Grant Haley, and rookies Bryce Thompson and Lawrence Woods.
SEAN PAYTON ON ADEBO
After the completion of April's draft, Sean Payton said of Adebo, "We like all of his traits, every one of them and Mickey (Loomis) alluded to it last night. We feel like we're drafting a good football player, and we'll begin that process of developing him shortly."
Reading between the lines, Payton shared his vision on Adebo in New Orleans, "He will compete like all of these guys will. And I would not say we are definitely going to, but I would not also discount that we might look to sign another player."
ADEBO VS. THE VETS
Adebo would have to leap several veterans - Robinson, Williams, Crawley - to see the field as a starter. It's not a knock on those players, but the backup role better suits their capabilities at this point in their careers.
Keith Washington may push for playing time in 2021 after serving as a practice squad player the entire 2020 season.
Sean Payton referred to signing another player; possibly a free-agent veteran is still an option for New Orleans.
Richard Sherman expressed concerns about joining the Saints after they drafted his Stanford alum Adebo.
Bashaud Breeland, Gareon Conley, Brian Poole, Nikell Robey-Coleman, D.J. Hayden, and Steven Nelson are a few well-noted corners still available.
But with limited salary-cap space, can New Orleans find enough money to sign a vet, drafted players, and undrafted free agents?
WILL ADEBO START?
Nonetheless, Adebo has the potential to be inserted into the New Orleans starting lineup in 2021. If Lattimore receives an NFL suspension, expect an earlier start for Adebo.
He still needs development. But as a professional, player availability, poor performance, or suspensions can get your number called at any moment in the NFL.
I don't envy Saints defensive backfield coach Kris Richard this summer. There will be plenty of decisions to make this training camp - but none more significant than Adebo's role.
At this point, it's fair to say the odds are in Adebo's favor to make an early impact during his rookie campaign.
- Saints Draft Profile: CB Paulson Adebo
- Saints Draft Grades: CB Paulson Adebo
- Paulson Adebo Draft Scouting Report
- Werner and Adebo Picks Reflect Saints Draft Philosophy
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