It is by no stretch of the imagination that New Orleans will draft Virginia Tech corner Caleb Farley. In fact, it may be too obvious.
Two of New Orleans' most pressing needs is at cornerback and wide receiver. Given the depth of wide receiver in this year's class, it's likely New Orleans will not eye a wideout with their first pick, something they haven't done since Brandin Cooks in 2014. Going with Sean Payton's top priority makes sense.
"There’s one (priority),” Payton told the Advocate last week. “Corner is an area that we have to address here between now and the start of the season, and I think we’ll be able to find that.”
Picking up one of the top four corners in this class won't be easy, with some expecting Patrick Surtain, Jaycee Horn, Greg Newsome and Farley to all be off the board before New Orleans picks at 28. In ESPN's NFL Nation mock draft, all four went in the first 16 picks, but Farley's turbulent off-season continues to grind away at his value.
This fall some graded Farley as the top corner, but after sitting out the 2020 season and having back surgery in March his stock has taken a hit. Wednesday Farley tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the draft ceremony in Cleveland. It's not unreal to think Farley could slip into 20's Thursday night given a year that's been particularly difficult for teams to evaluate a player's health.
If Farley slips that far, expect cornerback-needy teams like Cleveland, Buffalo and New Orleans to trade up. The Saints have eight picks, five in the first four rounds, and a history of "getting their man."
"Look, one thing I think we've done in the past is we've found someone we love, and we often made moves to go up and get that player or players," said Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. "If that's the definition of aggressive then I like it."
Farley to New Orleans makes a lot of sense, but does New Orleans covet him and are they comfortable with his health? Given the already uncertain situation in their secondary with Marshon Lattimore's legal status in the air, New Orleans isn't likely to move up and draft a corner if they have doubts about his immediate health.
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