The Saints tried to go marchin’ in, but were stopped at the gates.
Reports on April 29 indicated that the Saints were attempting to move up into the top 10 of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft to select a cornerback. Nothing came of it, but now we know that New Orleans had more than one potential target in mind for the move.
MORE: Full list of Saints’ 2021 NFL Draft selections
NFL insider Michael Lombardi reports that the Saints not only were trying to grab a cornerback, but were trying to get ahead of the Patriots to select Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, who went No. 15 overall to New England.
“[New Orleans] was trying to get above New England to get Mac Jones.”
– NFL Draft Recap, Days 2 & 3
– Notable picks and moves
– Browns, Carolina, Dallas & more
– Kentucky Derby
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) May 3, 2021
New Orleans was trying to get into the top 10 to get a defensive corner, there’s no doubt, I think it was (Jaycee) Horn, they tried, they couldn’t get in there, they were too far back to get into the top 10. But — and I’ve had this confirmed to me by two teams — they were trying to get up above New England to get Mac Jones.
I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Everybody will deny it, “No, no, no.” I’m just telling you, they couldn’t get there. Why? Because Minnesota traded with the Jets. Minnesota didn’t go as far back as New Orleans, and they got a good deal. 13 wasn’t moving because (Rashawn) Slater was there, the Chargers wouldn’t move. 12 wasn’t moving because Dallas was gonna pick (Micah) Parsons. 11 became (Justin) Fields. There was no where for him (Sean Payton) to go — there was nowhere for them to go.
Instead of trading away ample capital to move up, the Saints remained at pick No. 28 and selected defensive lineman Payton Turner.
The Saints are entering the season with a presumed quarterback battle between former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston and Payton favorite Taysom Hill after the retirement of Drew Brees.
The Saints did end up selecting a quarterback — Notre Dame’s Ian Book went to New Orleans in the fourth round.
But oh, what could have been.