New Orleans Saints 2021 NFL Draft Class Breakdown

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


The Saints are in a peculiar position. Drew Brees has retired and the roster isn’t as deep as previous seasons, so setting expectations for 2021 is challenging. The key for New Orleans moving forward is hitting on draft picks to assist with the salary cap gymnastics that happen every offseason for the Saints and to replenish the roster with meaningful contributions for low-cost players on rookie deals. 

Let’s take a look back at the Saints’ 2021 NFL Draft class:

Round 1: Payton Turner, EDGE, Houston

Turner wasn’t widely viewed as a first-round prospect but he was a favorite fallback option on day two if a team missed out on a top edge defender in the first round. The Saints got ahead of the curve and made him their top pick in the class. Turner is a long, athletic, physical, and powerful defensive end that demonstrated steady growth throughout his college career. He is lauded for his football character and plays the game with an unrelenting motor. With the departure of Trey Hendrickson in free agency and Marcus Davenport’s inability to be healthy and provide a consistent impact, Turner provides a much-need option for the Saints’ edge rush. 

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Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.