After a first-round DE, the Saints need to go defense again
The New Orleans Saints did exactly what we expected them to in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
They drafted someone that most have never heard of. Not only that, they drafted a position we definitely didn’t think they would go after — very similar to 2020, except, in 2020, the need was clear after the release of Larry Warford.
The fit of Payton Turner, a DE from Houston, is still yet to be decided. Whether they will try to move him inside to replace Rankins or whether he is an insurance policy on Davenport after losing Trey Hendrickson to the Bengals this offseason.
However, the linebacker position has been abnormally weak over the last couple of years. The front office made moves acquiring Alexander from San Francisco in the middle of the year, but he ended up tearing his Achilles tendon and subsequently was released this offseason to save cap.
After picking a first-round DE in Payton Turner, the Saints need to focus back on the defensive side of the ball in the second round.
Jabril Cox is a senior transfer to the LSU Tigers from North Dakota State University. In 2020, Cox ranked No. 5 in the SEC with three interceptions and No. 9 in interception return yards with 64. He also ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in interception touchdowns.
During his senior season, Cox recorded 37 tackles (6.5 for a loss), 1.0 sack, three interceptions, and one touchdown. Now, remember, because of COVID-19, LSU’s 2020 season only consisted of 10 games in which Cox started all of them.
Jabril Cox is a young, versatile linebacker that can be a force on the defense. The biggest consideration when looking at a linebacker is their complement to the already great linebacker Demario Davis who has wreaked havoc for years in the black and gold.
Coming from a team like LSU, Cox was not the only star, so he should be able to fit right in with Davis and the Saints defense. After an obscure first-round pick, the Saints need to turn back to the defense again in the second round today.