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Saints Draft

Analyzing the Saints’ first-round selection of Payton Turner

Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman Payton Turner (98) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive lineman Payton Turner (98) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Overview

So, was this a good pick by the Saints?

In my eyes, I can understand their process.

Unfortunately, it is definitely a reach based on consensus opinion, and although trading down is more difficult than it seems, consensus reaches have been proven to have a lower chance of success rate.

Turner’s risk is too much for my liking for the first round, and it may have been more reasonable for them to target a more sure-fire prospect, such as interior defender Christian Barmore, safety Trevon Moehrig, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., or one of the other perimeter players in this class.

However, the opportunity cost of not landing a different defensive player or wide receiver, given the strengths of this class, isn’t as severe as it may seem. Turner is a reach, but he also isn’t playing a completely devalued position, meaning that there is potential pay-off.

In other words, if he pans out, this becomes an optimal pick, which cannot be said about some of the running back and linebacker picks that other teams made.

With that all taken into account, I’d give them a 70 percent grade (C-). It’s a fair grade for a clear two-sided argument, and it will be interesting to see if the Saints’ success in the draft continues.

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They’ve done well, but the draft is a relative crapshoot, and one could argue you can only push your luck by going against the grain so much. That said, it’s easy to see what they like in Turner, and I personally am rooting for him to have a very successful professional career.

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