The New Orleans Saints decided not to make many moves at the cornerback position this offseason aside from drafting Paulson Adebo out of Stanford in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. While the Saints had a strong need at corner, they waited until Day 2 of the draft and didn’t add any veteran options in free agency, indicating they plan to plug Adebo in right away.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report listed Adebo as the Saints’ non-first-round rookie to keep an eye on. This is what he had to say:
"Currently, the Saints don’t have a specific answer at left cornerback.Adebo played the same spot during his collegiate career and excelled in man coverage. Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is one of the game’s most aggressive playcallers and often leaves his corners on an island. This year’s 76th overall pick excels in man coverage with a 96.1 grade when in singled up (h/t SB Nation’s Peter Bukowski)."
The New Orleans Saints expect big things from Paulson Adebo.
As Sobleski noted, the Saints aren’t well set up along the left side and that’s where Adebo is going to be expected to come in and do some damage. He didn’t play for Stanford in 2020 after opting out but he had a promising 2019 campaign, racking up 33 tackles, 10 defended passes, and four interceptions through nine games.
There’s still a chance that New Orleans adds another veteran cornerback as we inch closer to the 2021 season (Richard Sherman is still on the market) but if not, Adebo is going to be expected to step in and play like a vet. The Saints have had luck as far as their draft picks for the secondary go with Marshon Lattimore playing well and C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Williams holding it down as safeties.
Many felt the Saints needed to address cornerback earlier in the draft but they might have gotten a steal with Adebo. He’ll have to shake the rust off from a season ago but if he can show enough of that 2018 and 2019 version of himself, the Saints will be pretty content at cornerback moving forward.