Saints draft pick: Payton Turner, DE, Houston
Over the last few seasons, the New Orleans Saints fanbase has grown used to not being overly familiar with who the team takes in the first round. This season was no different as New Orleans selected Payton Turner, a defensive lineman from Houston.
Turner was commonly mocked as a late second-round pick, so this was a bit of a reach from New Orleans. But, it won’t matter if he can come in and produce at a high level. He has the frame for it, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 270 pounds.
The main question surrounding Turner is if he can stay on the field. He played just five games for the Houston Cougars last season.
"“Three-year starter with an underrated game. Plays with good lean, effectively uses his hands, and keeps his feet moving. Has excellent length, moves well about the field, and moves fluidly if asked to twist or stunt. Strong, displays the ability to push blockers off the line, and stays with the action,” Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline said."
He also noted that Turner isn’t a great natural pass rusher. Hopefully, that’s something Dennis Allen and his staff can help Turner overcome.
Regardless of his potential talent, defensive end wasn’t an overly needed position.
Carl Granderson, Marcus Davenport, Cameron Jordan, and Tanoh Kpassagnon are all on the roster. With Elijah Moore still on the board, the Saints could’ve taken a player that would have a larger immediate impact.
Hopefully, Turner turns into what Hendrickson was for the Saints, but for now, given the need, his pre-draft position and the injury concerns, the Saints get a rough grade for their first-round selection.