Which cornerbacks should the New Orleans Saints be looking to bring in this offseason?
With a large portion of the NFL offseason over, and the draft only a few weeks away, the New Orleans Saints are in desperate need of another CB. With Marshon Lattimore being the only true lockdown corner left on the roster, bringing another in to replace Janoris Jenkins should be a priority. In this article, I will be going over the best remaining options in free agency or options in the draft for the Saints to target this offseason.
Casey Hayward – Free Agent – Former L.A. Charger
Casey Hayward would likely be the perfect fit for the New Orleans Saints provided they could afford him. After spending five seasons with the Chargers and nine seasons in the league, Hayward was cut by L.A. After falling off slightly in 2020, Hayward will likely be looking to revive his career on a new team in a new system.
Something that would be great for both Hayward as well as Marshon Lattimore is that Hayward could act as a mentor to him and give him some of the knowledge he has accrued over his years in the league. His knowledge of other teams and of how to play man coverage at a high level will certainly be useful to Lattimore as well as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. Hayward would likely be able to fill the CB2 role for New Orleans at least for a few seasons until they could train a new one.
Richard Sherman – Free Agent – Former S.F. 49er
Another veteran CB to look into would be the former legion of boom member Richard Sherman. His connection with the Saints new defensive backs coach Kris Richard would likely make this transition easier, as they worked together in Seattle. Sherman would also be another fantastic mentorship type player for the secondary, and could definitely fill the CB2 role.
Since we cannot infer much from his 2020 statline due to an injury keeping him out of nine games, his 2019 statline looked as such:
- 3 interceptions for 65 yards and a touchdown
- 11 passes deflected and 2 tackles for loss
- 61 total tackles (48 solo 13 assisted)
- 15 games played total
Overall, he still has a lot left in the tank if 2019 was any indication of it. He would definitely be a big name addition to New Orleans as well which could potentially draw in some more young players to the secondary to learn from one of this decades greats.
Asante Samuel Jr. – 2021 Draft – Florida State University
Finally, we have my personal favorite option, with Asante Samuel Jr. The son of extremely talented corner Asante Samuel, who had quite the list of achievements. Including:
- 2x Super Bowl champion
- 4x Pro Bowler
- 2x First team all pro, 1x second team all pro
- 2x NFL interceptions co-leader
If Asante Samuel Jr can live up to the hype surrounding him, he will most definitely be a talented CB1 in the league within his first few seasons. He is extremely capable in his ability to play man to man coverage, especially when he has a safety playing up behind him. He knows how to get his hands locked on receivers and keep them in his range to make a play on the ball.
Asante will likely be a mid to late first round pick, at least based on the talent we have seen displayed from him at the college level. Per Chris Rosvoglou:
… we know that the Saints have had a virtual meeting with Asante Samuel Jr. This definitely leads to the belief that at the very least the Saints will be looking his direction if he is on the board at 28. He most definitely has the potential to be CB2 for the New Orleans Saints in his first year, and potentially CB1 if he really develops over time and fits into the scheme well.
With the right training and a good amount of time, Samuel could easily be one of the better prospects in the secondary from this class. With New Orleans, this would almost be a guarantee due to their extremely capable development and coaching staff, who gets the most out of any prospects they have in house.