Payton Turner Drafted by Saints: New Orleans' Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

American Team defensive lineman Payton Turner of Houston (98) runs during the American Team practice for the NCAA Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala. Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints no longer have Trey Hendrickson, so they added a defensive end in Thursday's NFL draft.

New Orleans selected Houston pass-rusher Payton Turner with the No. 28 overall pick.

Here is a look at how he will fit into his new team's depth chart:

LDE: Cameron Jordan, Carl Granderson, Christian Ringo

DT: David Onyemata, Ryan Glasgow, Jalen Dalton

NT: Shy Tuttle, Malcolm Roach

RDE: Marcus Davenport, Payton Turner*, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Noah Spence, Marcus Willoughby

OLB: Zack Baun, Kaden Elliss, Chase Hansen

MLB: Demario Davis, Wynton McManis

OLB: Andrew Dowell

CB: Patrick Robinson, Grant Haley

CB: Marshon Lattimore,  Keith Washington Jr. 

FS: Marcus Williams, P.J. Williams

SS: Malcolm Jenkins, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, J.T. Gray       

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.


This was something of a surprising pick, as Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported there were some teams around the league that gave Turner a fourth-round grade.

The Saints instead took him with a first-round pick after he helped anchor Houston's defense with 25 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and one forced fumble during the 2020 campaign. He posted 3.5 sacks during the 2019 season.

Turner has always been somewhat overlooked. He was a 2-star recruit per 247Sports' composite rankings before he played at Houston instead of a Power Five school.

All he did was play his way into the first round of the NFL draft. He'll have the opportunity to contribute right away after Hendrickson joined the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. Hendrickson finished with a career-best 13.5 sacks in 2020, so there is production to be had when lining up across Cameron Jordan.

Turner can take advantage of the double teams Jordan draws and tally some sacks during his rookie campaign.

If he does, he can help the Saints win the NFC South for the fifth straight season.