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New Orleans Saints Draft 2021: Round 1 notes

New Orleans selected University of Houston DE Payton Turner in the first round

  • With the 28th pick overall in the first round, New Orleans selected University of Houston defensive end Payton Turner.
  • This marks the second selection that the Saints have made with the 28th overall pick, previously selecting running back Mark Ingram in 2011.
  • Turner is the sixth player selected by New Orleans out of the University of Houston, the first since guard Mike Gisler in 1992 (11th round, 303rd overall).
  • Turner's selection marks the second time that New Orleans has picked a player out of the American Athletic Conference since the league's establishment in 2014, the first being wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (third round, 91st overall, 2018).
  • Turner is the 11th defensive end selected in the first round by New Orleans, as he joins fellow first round ends Marcus Davenport (2018) and Cameron Jordan (2011) on the roster, as well as Kevin Hardy (1968), Joe Campbell (1977), Shawn Knight (1987), Wayne Martin (1989), Renaldo Turnbull (1990), Joe Johnson (1994), Charles Grant (2002) and Will Smith (2004) The 11 defensive ends are the most selected position wise in the first round in club history by the Saints.

2021 NFL Draft photos of New Orleans Saints first round draft pick Payton Turner, defensive end out of Houston.

  • Turner is the 15th first round draft pick to be selected out of the University of Houston, the last being Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver in 2019.
  • The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Turner played in 39 games with 27 starts at Houston and posted career totals of 115 tackles (68 solo), 25 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and 10 passes defensed.
  • As a senior in 2020, Turner played in five games with four starts and recorded 25 tackles (17 solo), 10.5 stops for loss, five sacks for a loss of 33 yards and one forced fumble, opening the season with a monster performance in the season opener against Tulane on Oct. 8, posting 4.5 stops for loss and two sacks in a 49-31 Cougars victory. Turner was American Athletic All-Conference second-team.
  • In 2019, Turner started the 12 games he played in and posted 34 tackles (20 solo), eight stops for loss, four sacks and four passes defensed.
  • In 2018, the Houston native started all 11 games he played in and posted a career-high 42 tackles (career-high 21 solo), 4.5 stops for loss and four passes defensed.
  • New Orleans has seven picks remaining in the 2021 NFL Draft, with three picks scheduled for Friday, one second-rounder (60th overall) and two third round compensatory picks (98th and 105th overall).

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