The New Orleans Saints had a late first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and we all figured they’d be taking a wide receiver with that pick. Instead, they shocked us all by selecting Payton Turner, a lesser-known defensive end out of Houston. Many felt the pick was a reach by New Orleans and so far, Turner hasn’t been healthy enough for us to get a true grasp on his abilities.
What we do know, however, is that Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore was available when the Saints were on the clock and they passed on him to take Turner. Moore went in the second round to the Jets and has been one of the few bright spots for Gang Green.
On Sunday against the Dolphins, Moore went off for eight catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, putting him up to 33 receptions for 415 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie season. He’s done all of this with three different quarterbacks throwing to him too, which is worth mentioning.
Saints could have had Elijah Moore but passed on him
Moore was there for the taking at pick No. 28 but New Orleans went with Turner instead, who has only appeared in five games this year. This isn’t a post intended to knock Turner, as he was a talented player during his collegiate career at Houston but he hasn’t made the impact the team was expecting him to as a rookie.
Moore, however, would have stepped into a starting role on this team and made the most of his opportunities. He’d have easily been the WR1 on the offense and would have made the wide receiver room look significantly better.
This isn’t the first time the Saints have passed on a good receiver when the need was there, as they could have taken Justin Jefferson in 2020 but instead went with Cesar Ruiz. As we all know, the Ruiz pick hasn’t gone well.
Watching Moore continue to produce at a high level for a team as lousy as the Jets hurts and to make matters worse, NOLA will be tasked with slowing him down in a few weeks when the Saints travel to New Jersey to face Gang Green. They’ll get a perfect glance at what could have been during that game.
Elijah Moore would have been the spark this Saints offense is missing and it’s beyond frustrating that they passed on him for a guy who’s played in five games.