Saints: Payton Turner can’t afford to be “Marcus Davenport Jr.”
By Seth Carlson
When the New Orleans Saints selected University of Houston defensive end, Payton Turner, with their 2021 first round selection, it drew widespread criticism as a reach pick.
Many teams reportedly had grades on Turner ranging anywhere from mid-to-late second round to even as low as a fourth round grade on the raw but talented pass rusher, which makes it easier to understand why the selection garnered said criticism.
So when ESPN New Orleans Saints beat reporter Mike Triplett tweeted out that fellow defensive end Cameron Jordan calls Turner “Marcus Davenport Jr. Jr.” , that had to set in some level of uneasiness among Who Dat Nation.
The last thing Saints fans want at the moment is a second coming of Marcus Davenport.
There’s no doubt that both Davenport and Turner each possess the physical traits to be successful. But those gifts have not translated into results at the pro level, at least with Davenport so far. (Turner is a rookie, of course).
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The Saints infamously selected Davenport 14th overall in 2018 after trading up with the Packers to nab him. He’s since rewarded the team with 12 career sacks in three seasons, with six of those coming in 2019 alone. Not great.
New Orleans also seems to covet players that are built like Turner and Davenport at their position of defensive end: big, strong athletes with high football IQ and raw skill sets.
But it hasn’t worked so far with Davenport. They better hope it does with Turner.
Asking Who Dats to warm up to the selection of Payton Turner was already a tall task from the day he was selected. He might become one of those players who has to constantly win over the praise of his coaches and fans, and rightly so with his first round pedigree.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but if Payton Turner is truly what Cam Jordan believes he is (Davenport Jr.), we could be in for a long ride once again, Saints nation.