The New Orleans Saints once again traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft. This time the Saints targeted a versatile offensive lineman out of Kentucky, Landon Young. The Saints sent picks 218 and 229 to the Indianapolis Colts for pick 206. New Orleans wanted Young and obviously did not feel he be available in 12 picks. The Saints have had highly touted offensive lines almost every year of the Sean Payton era. Drafting Young brings an experienced, albeit raw, talent into the player pool. New Orleans coveting an offensive lineman should turn eyes to the potential of Landon Young.
Saints draft Landon Young in sixth round
Landon Young was a stalwart for the Kentucky Wildcats. The 6’7, 321 pound native of Lexington, KY was a four-year starter for the Wildcats. In his time with the Wildcats, he was named to the All-SEC team twice. Young was named to the first-team All-SEC by the coaches, the second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press, and the All-Bowl team by the Associated Press and ESPN in his final year. Over his career, Young appeared in 49 games for the Wildcats with 26 total starts. He had these accolades while remaining unpolished at the tackle position. The New Orleans Saints will develop Young in the next couple of years. If he does develop like the Saints hope, there will be winners and losers of the sixth-round draft selection. Let’s examine the potential fall-out of this draft pick for the New Orleans Saints.
Winners of the Landon Young selection
Sean Payton and his scouting team are winners of the Landon Young selection. A four-year starter in the ever-powerful SEC does not normally slip through to the sixth round of the NFL draft. The Saints staff obviously had Young circled as a potential draft pick. When Young was within targeting for the Saints draft selection, the organization leapt at the opportunity. The homework and proof of research done to be patient for Young but also know when to strike is a master class for the entire Saints draft team.
Landon Young himself is also the biggest winner of his draft selection. Young would likely have found a home on some NFL roster without the Saints taking him but going to the Saints likely helps his potential NFL career. The Saints have had great success with building up offensive line talent over the Sean Payton years. Young now finds himself in a perfect situation to develop into an NFL-caliber offensive lineman for years to come.
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Losers of the Landon Young selection
Will Clapp is one of the obvious losers of the Landon Young draft selection. Clapp signed a one year contract this past off-season on what seemed to be a “prove it” style deal. The drafting of Young is sure to put pressure on Clapp to perform as the rotational and jumbo-package offensive lineman. If given the chance, Young could supplant Clapp as being the Saints go-to in certain situations where an extra lineman is needed.
Another pair of losers for this selection could be Terron Armstead or Ryan Ramczyk. Ramczyk is more likely a loser than Armstead. If Young can be coached up in the next year or two, long-term contracts for each of these players could disappear. Ramczyk would seem more like a potential casualty if Young were to show promise at the tackle position.
Saints add depth with selection of Landon Young
The New Orleans Saints have never been shy about bringing in talented offensive linemen. Sean Payton and his coaching staff have historically had offensive lines rank at the very top of the NFL. If the Payton staff saw enough in Landon Young to move up and grab him, it is reasonable to assume that he will contribute to the team at some point. How much Young does remains to be seen, but his experience and measurables certainly adds some clout to sixth-round draft pick.
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