After a lost rookie season, Payton Turner announced on Twitter that he is finally medically cleared to play and will be ready for training camp. The Saints will essentially get three first-round picks in 2022 with a healthy Payton Turner and Chris Olave and Trevor Penning. A healthy Payton Turner will have high expectations for a break through season in 2022.
It’s been a long road to recovery, I had a pretty major shoulder surgery last November and didn’t have quite the rookie year I wanted but shoutout to everybody that’s stayed down with me and helped me get to this point, blessed to say I’ve been CLEARED— Payton Turner (@pt_turner98) June 29, 2022
Payton Turner was the 28th overall pick for the New Orleans Saints just a year ago and we haven't been able to see a lot of him since. Turner has all of the traits to be a dominant edge rusher at this level, 6’6” and 270 pounds is the build the Saints love at that position. He appeared in five games in 2021 and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve due to a couple of injuries.
When Turner did play you could see flashes of dominant play. Powerful pass rushes, dominant run stops, and big-time bull rushes are what pop out on his small sample size film in year one. In a lot of ways, year two is more important for the Saints to see improvement in his game. This is the final year of Marcus Davenport's rookie deal, and he is primed to get huge money in 2023 despite his injuries. Whether it is with the Saints or another team Davenport will get paid just based on his big-time potential. A fully healthy campaign this year could make him very hard to afford next year. This is where the Saints could survive losing him if they see big strides from Payton Turner. Turner and Davenport nearly have the exact same build and similar potential in the 2nd years of their career.
The Saints' defensive end room is talented and crowded. Cam Jordan and Marcus Davenport are the obvious starters but the Saints love to use their depth at the position. Payton Turner, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Carl Granderson, and Taco Charlton will all see snaps at the position throughout the season. The amount Turner plays in year two all depends on him, his health, and if he can beat out his teammates for more snaps.
For Turner and the Saints, the bar is set high, if he can stay healthy for the year and produce it would make the Saints' defensive line units one of the best in the league. Cam Jordan isn't getting any younger and Marcus Davenport is on a contract year, so the Saints need Payton Turner to put it all together in year two.