New Orleans Saints third-round draft pick Paulson Adebo is eager to compete at the NFL level after opting out of the 2020 college season.
"I feel like I prepared well over the past year," Adebo said during his Saints Minicamp interview with local media. "Coming back, I'm in shape. I feel like this is the best shape I've been in physically, mentally. So, I feel like the last year's work, even though I didn't play, I did a good job staying in the loop as far as watching film, making sure that I'm just touching up on things whether it's on-the-field work or off-the-field work."
New Orleans moved up in Round 3 to draft Adebo 76th overall following a trade where the Saints sent Denver the 98th and 105th choices.
Adebo, 6 feet 1, 198 pounds, was named a two-time All-Pac-12 honoree (2018-19) as well as being named to the All-Pac-12 second team by The Associated Press in 2019. As a junior, Adebo played in and started each of the first nine games before a season-ending injury. He totaled 33 tackles, 10 pass breakups and four interceptions. He also led the Pac-12 Conference in passes defended per game and interceptions per game along with being ranked third nationally in passes defended per game and eighth in interceptions per game.
"Obviously, I'm a competitor coming in here," Adebo said. "Just trying to learn as much as possible from the older guys, but obviously came here for a reason - to compete. Any way I can get on the field, as quick as I can get on the field, the quicker I can learn and know all the different positions they want me to know, then the quicker I will be able to play on the field and compete."
Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen addressed the rookie's positive traits when asked about Adebo during his Saints Minicamp interview.
"I think we got to get him out there and throw as much at him as we possibly can and see how he responds to it," Allen said. "He's big, long, can run, is smart, a lot of the characteristics that we like in a corner. I'm sure there's going to be a little bit of rust in getting out and playing the game of football, but the offseason program and what we do between now and training camp in getting into football playing condition so that he can operate at an optimal level once we get to training camp."
2021 NFL draft photos of New Orleans Saints 3rd round draft pick