For the seventh straight NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected a lineman with their first or second overall selection.
In Thursday night’s first round, the Saints used the No. 28 overall pick to select University of Houston defensive end Payton Turner.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Turner appeared in just five games last season for the Cougars (missing two games due to injury) but he still recorded 25 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. For that, Turner earned second-team All-American Athletic Conference honors.
Turner was a four-year letterman at Houston, serving as a starter for three seasons and took part in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January. Turner appeared in 39 games, recording 115 tackles (68 solo), 25 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks.
In the previous five drafts, New Orleans has selected Michigan center-guard Ceasar Ruiz (2020, No. 24), Texas A&M center Eric McCoy (2019, No. 48), UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport (2018, No. 14), Wisconsin right tackle Ryan Ramczyk (2017, No. 32), Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (2016, No. 12), and Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat (2015, No. 13).