The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. 259 players now have new homes. Almost assuredly, every team got every player they wanted exactly when they wanted to.
However, we are going to look at them through the prism of the way I thought they did. Did a team reach? Did they get a steal? How did that trade work out? Over the course of the next few weeks, I will recap every team’s draft class. Some will be solely be written word. Some will be accompanied by a video from the Deep Fried Draft YouTube channel with an expert from that team talking about their class.
Today, we look at the New Orleans Saints.
SAINTS DRAFT CLASS
|2||60||LB||Pete Werner||Ohio State|
|4||133||QB||Ian Book||Notre Dame|
|7||255||WR||Kawaan Baker||South Alabama|
New Orleans Saints GM Micky Loomis did his usual draft shuffling, taking the eight picks he started with and ending up with six. The Saints inquired about moving up in the first round but ultimately found the price to be too steep.
They stayed at 28 and drafted my top ranted edge rusher in the 2021 class. Payton Turner is an incredible athlete with tremendous size. He has great bend and closing speed for a man of his dimensions. In 2021, I expect Turner to rotate with veteran Cam Jordan before taking over for him in 2022.
I had a 5th round grade on LB Pete Werner. So, I obviously thought this was a reach. However, the Saints liked him a lot. Werner is likely to be the starting WILL linebacker in 2021.
New Orleans traded up in the 3rd round to acquire Stanford corner Paulson Adebo. I was enamored with Adebo on tape from 2019 (he sat out 2020). Adebo should push Patrick Robinson to be a starting corner this season.
Ian Book is in a perfect place for what he can do. He should be a great backup QB for many years.
The Saints got a steal with Kentucky OT Landon Young. Young was a multi-year starter at UK. Young is a great athlete. If New Orleans moves on from left tackle Terron Armstead, I could see Young being in a position to take over.
Kawaan Baker is a long shot to make the Saints 53. However, his athletic ability will afford him every opportunity to make it.
The Saints signed the following undrafted free agents:
Trill Williams, CB, Syracuse
Dylan Soehner, TE, Iowa State
Bryce Thompson, CB, Tennessee
Mike Brown, OL, West Virginia
Shaq Smith, LB, Maryland
Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana
Josiah Bronson, DT, Washington
Nolan Cooney, P, Syracuse
Eric Burrell, S, Wisconsin
Next up we will look at the Seattle Seahawks!