Saints Rookie Watch: Payton Turner and Paulson Adebo’s Week 2 performances

Paulson Adebo, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Paulson Adebo, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Paulson Adebo #29 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints Rookie #1: Paulson Adebo

Paulson Adebo put on a dazzling show in Week 1, and he continued with a solid encore against the Panthers on Sunday.

With Lattimore ruled out due to his thumb injury, Adebo started alongside Bradley Roby as the outside cornerbacks and P.J. Williams as the nickel.

Adebo played a whopping 99 percent of snaps, tying Marcus Williams for the most-used defender in the Saints’ secondary.

Not many teams would give a rookie No. 1 cornerback duties and rotate the others (Roby and Desmond Trufant) in the second spot, but New Orleans trusted Adebo. While the Stanford product didn’t play as well as he did against Rodgers and the Packers, he still had some highlights:

On the other hand, Adebo kept getting bullied by wideout D.J. Moore as the Panthers aggressively attacked the rookie all game. In his second game for New Orleans, Adebo recorded seven combined tackles and struggled a bit more on coverage, as on this play:

Adebo’s performance mostly proves how much the Saints need Lattimore to lock down the backfield. But cornerback is one of the most difficult positions to play, period, and for a rookie to fight and claw against a veteran wideout for four whole quarters?

Adebo no doubt learned some lessons (which is, of course, the nicer way of saying he got schooled), but he wasn’t scared like other rookies might be in his position.

We expect Adebo to continue to improve, snap by snap while sharing corner duties and learning from one of the best to play the position.

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The Saints may have made a grave error in not solidifying their cornerback unit this offseason, but that just means more opportunities for Adebo to shine.