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The New Orleans Saints showed that their fans should be ready for anything on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL draft, selecting Houston edge rusher Payton Turner in a surprise move at No. 28. That kind of raises the bar for our Day 2 bold predictions. So the Saints Wire staffers huddled up again and called our shot for what the Saints may do on Friday night, during rounds two and three:
Kade Kistner: Saints will trade up and address a major need at linebacker
Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) defends against Alabama during the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Kistner: My bold prediction is that the Saints will trade up and snag a linebacker, and use the remaining comp pick on a receiver. They likely view the remaining draft prospects at cornerback as a lesser option than bringing in veteran free agents like Richard Sherman. I bet they'll move up for Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, while hoping Purdue receiver Rondale Moore falls to them in round three.
Maddy Hudak: Offensive line is still a priority, and the Saints will move to get their guy
Oklahoma State's Teven Jenkins at the start of an NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
Hudak: I think my bold prediction is the Saints moving up super early for an offensive tackle that fell out of the first round, and I'm looking at Oklahoma State right tackle Teven Jenkins. Because he's the best player available and New Orleans always want trench players. I think just as Payton Turner could be a replacement for Cameron Jordan or Marcus Davenport, Jenkins could be succession plan for Terron Armstead or Ryan Ramczyk as they enter their final contract years. But if the Saints want to go defense, I'm watching LSU linebacker Jabril Cox as a target.
John Sigler: The Saints will finally trade up, and pick Cox ahead of Owusu-Koramoah
LSU linebacker Jabril Cox covers a play against Florida during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Sigler: The NFL isn't as high on J.O.K. as fans and draft experts in the media had been, and his slide could continue as teams ponder where exactly to line him up (he spent more time at slot corner than linebacker in college). Cox is a prospect with a more clear path to playing as a rookie, and he's someone the Saints have invested a lot of time in vetting. I think the Saints are going to pull the trigger on a trade and move up in the second round to go get a tag-team partner (and eventual heir) for Demario Davis. Doesn't it feel like a Richard Sherman-Kris Richard reunion after the draft is almost inevitable?