How NFC South first-round picks could impact the Panthers in 2021

Nick Halden
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Pitts
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Kyle Pitts /
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Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Payton Turner /

New Orleans Saints select Payton Turner

This pick is the least consequential for the Carolina Panthers. Payton Turner is a solid player but seems to be a bit of a reach here. The New Orleans Saints are still going to be fighting with the Atlanta Falcons for last in their division, or so we hope.

They still lack a franchise quarterback and this selection isn’t going to fix that problem.

Despite a substantial amount of defensive problems, at least the Falcons have a franchise quarterback in Matt Ryan. The Saints are likely to roll with Jameis Winston, a player who we already know isn’t capable of winning consistently at the highest level.

Turner at best will give the Saints a bookend edge rusher who can be used situationally. He does have some likable traits, but there are injury and consistency concerns that cannot be ignored.

There is no questioning his motor or how hard he plays. However, Turner’s problems staying on the field and lack of an elite move to get past offensive linemen are both concerning.

Overall this is a gamble of a pick that doesn’t move the needle at all for a team that is heading in the wrong direction in a post-Drew Brees era.  This team could find out the hard way just what a vital component the signal-caller was to the organization in 2021.