Drafting Payton Turner is considered Saints’ riskiest move this offseason

Payton Turner (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Payton Turner (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints like to throw people off when it comes to their first-round picks and this year was no exception to that rule. They surprised pretty much everyone by selecting Houston edge rusher Payton Turner with the No. 28 overall pick. Many felt that it was a reach by the Saints.

Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report considered this to be the riskiest move for the Saints this offseason and here is his reasoning as to why:

"New Orleans made one of the most puzzling picks of Round 1 in April when the Saints took Houston’s Payton Turner with the 28th overall pick.it’s not that Turner is devoid of talent, but he was widely viewed as both a Day 2 prospect and one that will need time to develop.It was an odd gamble—especially after the team doubled down on its bet with Davenport."

Prior to this segment, Davenport discussed how the Saints took Marcus Davenport in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and traded up to do so. That move looks really bad right now considering Davenport hasn’t had more than six sacks in a season.

Will the Saints regret drafting Payton Turner?

Turner is already getting compared to Davenport, as unfair as that may be, and it’s not hard to see why. Neither was a big name heading into the draft but somehow went in the first round in spite of that. They also play the same position and Turner was probably drafted because of Davenport’s lack of production so far.

I’m surprised that the riskiest move listed for New Orleans wasn’t something about the quarterback battle. The team has gotten trashed for not naming Jameis Winston as the starter yet and so I figured that’d be the route that Gary Davenport went in for this article. I appreciate him taking a different approach though because it’s certainly easy to discuss the quarterback position when nothing else is obvious.

Back to Turner though, he was a monster at Houston and it’s not difficult to see why the Saints liked him. Through five games, Turner notched five sacks while recording 25 tackles (10.5 for loss) and definitely made his presence known on the defensive side of the ball.

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The Saints might be trying to set the reset button with Turner and hope that he can be what Davenport wasn’t. At the same time, however, it makes sense why outsiders would see this as a risky move because it didn’t work out very well for New Orleans the first time it was attempted.