Saints Position Battle No. 3: Bradley Roby vs. Alontae Taylor at cornerback
The Saints didn’t have its third-round pick in this year’s draft because they traded it to the Houston Texans last year for defensive back Bradley Roby.
Roby was a good starter playing in the second year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract at the time of the trade. You may recall the Saints lost Vonn Bell to free agency and Patrick Robinson surprisingly retired.
It wasn’t a panic move by the Saints. Roby filled a need with rookie Paulson Adebo still something of an unknown. Adebo quickly became known because the taller rookie surpassed the veteran for playing time early on.
Roby’s final contract year wasn’t guaranteed for this year, but the Saints extended him to keep him on the roster at a more cap-friendly price. He’s a legit NFL-worthy starting CB that many teams wouldn’t hesitate to line up. With Marshon Lattimore a lock and Adebo probable as the starters, Roby’s likely fighting for a second-string spot.
Enter one Alontae Taylor, a second-round draft pick (one round earlier than Adebo last year) who enters camp full of confidence and potential to give Roby a run for his money.
Taylor is what college coaches deem the prototypical ‘Athlete’. He played quarterback in high school before moving to corner at Tennessee. He wowed scouts at the NFL Combine by running a blazing 4.36 40-yard dash.
Like Adebo, Taylor stands 6-1, so he’s not likely to be out-jumped when defending receivers. He also has the versatility and willingness to move to Safety if needed there.
With P.J. Williams having backed up Lattimore in the past, it looks like Roby and Taylor will battle on the other side.
Will history repeat itself with Roby falling behind a rookie for the second consecutive year?