Reports emerged last week that the Saints were trying to trade up from the draft’s 28th overall pick into the top 10.
During an interview on the Rich Eisen Show, head coach Sean Payton confirmed those reports — admitting the club was targeting its clearest position of need.
“It was pretty simple. There were a couple players that we’d move up for, but for us we have a ‘must’ at corner,” Payton said. “So we had two corners graded — both [Jaycee] Horn and [Patrick] Surtain — with real high grades. And very quickly, early in the week, it’s pretty common for teams to say, ‘Hey, we have an interest.’ Everyone’s basically open for business.
“But ultimately, there wasn’t a team wanting to move out of the first 10 picks. And so, I think that lasted all of a half an hour maybe, the morning of reaching out to these teams. And the cost would’ve been, if we found a trade partner, too high. So at that point, our feeling was, it’s going to come to us at 28 so let’s make sure we have our cloud of players ready. And that’s exactly what happened.”
Horn and Surtain ended up being selected back-to-back by the Panthers and Broncos at No. 8 and No. 9 overall, respectively. Sticking at their original draft position, the Saints chose defensive end Payton Turner at No. 28 overall.
New Orleans did pick Stanford cornerback Paulson Adebo in the third round. But Horn will now be able to remind the Saints what they missed out on twice a year as rivals in the NFC South.