NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take one: Meeting needs
With both of their Day 2 selections, the Saints filled the biggest needs on their roster.
At 60 in the second round, they drafted Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner. Werner is a rangy linebacker who excels at reading plays. He’s a three-year starter that fits their prototype size at 6′3 and 234 pounds.
The Saints don’t have a starter next to DeMario Davis. Werner will have a chance to become that player right away. General Manager Mickey Loomis said he likes his versatility. They see him mostly as a weakside linebacker with middle linebacker versatility.
There was no greater concern going into the draft than at cornerback. It was a must position for the team. Though it took three rounds to get one, the Saints got their guy with Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo after a trade up with Denver. Adebo opted out of the 2020 season, but had eight total interceptions in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Loomis said the team may not be done at cornerback, and Adebo may need some development. However, Adebo will at least be a player that will compete and could get on the field.
Take Two: Trade talk
Everyone knew a Saints trade was coming at some point in the draft. It was just a matter of when they would make their move.
We were sure it was coming in the first round, but it didn’t. Then it had to come in the second round, but it didn’t happen.
The inability to land a trade was not for a lack of trying. Loomis said they tried to get into the top of the second round, but had no luck. In the first round, Loomis said he’s never work harder to strike a deal with a team to no avail. The Saints were in a tough spot picking at 28, and wanting to get into the top ten. Loomis didn’t want to give up a ‘king’s ransom.’
Finally, in the third round the long-awaited trade-up happened when the Saints swapped their 98th and 105th picks with Denver to move up to 76 and take Adebo. All in all, it ended up being a very reasonable trade to make. With a team they spent a lot of time talking to about a deal in the first round.
It marks the ninth year in a row the Saints have traded up in the draft.
Take Three: Ohio State south
Another year, another Ohio State Buckeye lands on the Saints roster. In his press conference, Werner was well aware of the Saints affection for Buckeye players. He even said ‘this is almost the capitol for guys coming out of Ohio State.’
Loomis said they joked in the war room about how many Ohio State players they’ve had on their roster. Bottom line, most of them turn out to be worth it.
Take Four: Day two success
Day 2 has become my personal favorite day of the draft. The picks move faster, and there are usually still a bunch of quality players left on the board.
In the Saints case, Day 2 is where they struck gold the most recently.
Terron Armstead, Michael Thomas , Vonn Bell, Alvin Kamara, Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, and Erik McCoy were all Day 2 draft picks.
We’ll see if Werner and Adebo continue that trend.
Take Five: Instant Grades
For as much as the Payton Turner pick was a surprise, the selections of Werner and Adebo were good, solid choices for the Saints.
Both players provide tremendous value with starter potential.
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