Payton Turner ready to ‘grow and learn’ with the Saints

Payton Turner ready to ‘grow and learn’ with the Saints
Saints draft Payton Turner No. 28 overall in the NFL Draft. (Source: University of Houston Football Athletics)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints possess a big-time need at cornerback, but after numerous trade attempts were shot down to move up, the team stayed put and drafted defensive end, Payton Turner. Some draftnicks said the pick was a reach at No. 28 overall, but Turner visualized getting the call at about this time.

“I’ve heard from GMs, coaches, everything, they try to keep it low key. But I figured I was somewhere in the range of 20 to 40. So I was really excited to get that call at 28 with the Saints, just crazy (to be picked by that) organization. But yeah, I mean I had expectations to go between 20 to 40,” said Payton Turner.

Turner registered 10.5 tackles for loss, with five sacks, in five games for Houston. With more time at defensive end going forward, Turner foresees his number improving on the pro level.

“I think I have a lot of room to grow. And that’s the only way I can go, especially with where I’m going at the Saints. I got good guys who want me to learn from the guys around me, to learn from the coaches and everything. So yeah, I played D-tackle and I think it really helped me just being more physical on the edge when I did transition to the edge and obviously there were things I needed to learn. There was a learning curve going from my junior to senior season. I think I improved a lot and then kind of showed what I could do my senior season in this past year 2020, even though there were a couple of bumps in the road, but I think I showed a glimpse of what I can do with just one offseason learning the position,” said Turner.

In the past seven drafts the Saints have gone with the motto bigger is better. They’ve selected an offensive or defensive line with a first round pick or their first pick overall.

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