Saints draft Houston DE Payton Turner with 28th overall pick

<p>NEW ORLEANS &mdash; The New Orleans Saints drafted Houston defensive end Payton Turner 28th overall in Thursday night’s first round of the NFL draft.</p>
<p>The decision to select Turner comes after the Saints lost 2020 sack leader Trey Hendrickson in free agency.</p>
<p>Although Turner played in just five games for Houston last season, he had five sacks and 10 1/2 tackles for losses, along with a forced fumble.</p>
<p>Turner was sidelined with knee and hand injuries in 2020 and also tested positive for COVID-19 during the season.</p>
<p>Turner now joins a roster that already has two starting defensive ends in 10-year veteran Cameron Jordan and fourth-year pro Marcus Davenport, a 2018 first-round pick whose fifth-year option was picked up by the Saints earlier on Thursday.</p>
<p>But he could see considerable playing time as a rookie nonetheless because the Saints have been known to use three-defensive-end packages during certain passing situations.</p>
<p>The bigger need for the Saints was arguably at cornerback. But New Orleans was unable to trade up before four of the top-rated cornerbacks in the draft had been selected by other clubs.</p>
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