Oregon CB Thomas Graham Jr. met Saints for virtual interview

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John Sigler
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Add another name to the list of 2021 draft prospect interviews for the New Orleans Saints. The Draft Network’s Justin Melo reports that the team held a virtual meeting with Oregon cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. having previously met him at the Senior Bowl, and Graham’s been busy — he’s recently spoken with the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots, in addition to the Saints.

Graham entered the 2020 season leading the nation’s active players in career passes defensed (32, with 8 interceptions) but opted out amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the PAC-12’s delayed start. He’s known as a technically-sound player with plenty of experience starting outside, though he doesn’t bring much versatility as an option to cover the slot. He also pushes the limits of the Saints’ physical thresholds at 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, with 31-inch arms.

He could make up for those limitations by testing well at Oregon’s pro day, but it’s probably going to weigh into New Orleans’ evaluation regardless. The lack of facilities visits this year means the Saints won’t be able to spend as much time with Graham and other prospects as usual, so they’re working with less information. At this point in the draft process, Graham is projected to be a mid-round pick.

Still, the Saints haven’t been shy about scouting Oregon before. They kept a close eye on future Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert during his senior season and signed three of Graham’s teammates after the 2020 draft: defensive end Gus Cumberlander; offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton, who spent the year on New Orleans’ practice squad; and wide receiver Juwan Johnson, who totaled 182 snaps on offense in seven games. Maybe they like Graham even more than that trio.