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Saints select DB Alontae Taylor with second round selection in draft

The pick comes after selecting a receiver and offensive lineman in the first round.

NEW ORLEANS — The Saints selected cornerback/special teams specialist Alontae Taylor of Tennessee with their second round selection Friday.

Taylor started at Tennessee as a receiver but came on at cornerback to be the Vols' best corner in 2021.

ESPN's Mel Kiper even suggested that Taylor could be moved to safety.

Taylor is 6'0" tall and weighs in at just under 200 pounds. 

From RockyTopTalk.com, a Vols-centered web site: 

Taylor’s selling point is something you can’t teach — a size/speed combo that is ideal for the cornerback spot at the next level. His closing/recovery ability is a plus, paired with his 6-0 frame and strength to jam and reroute receivers. Taylor’s physicality is notable, particularly at the line of scrimmage in jam situations. He’s also shown flashes in zone situations, showing off some ability to anticipate routes.

First round picks

New Orleans Saints used their first-round picks in the NFL draft to address offensive needs, trading to move up Thursday night and select Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave before taking offensive tackle Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa.

The Saints drafted Olave at No. 11 after trading their third- and fourth-round picks to the Washington Commanders and moving up five spots. New Orleans then landed Penning with the 19th overall pick.

Olave set an Ohio State record with 35 career receiving touchdowns, the fourth most in Big Ten history, and ranks third on the school’s all-time list in catches (176) and fifth in receiving yards (2,711).

Wide receiver was considered a huge need for the Saints, who did not have a wideout gain as many as 700 yards in 2021. Marquez Callaway led the team with 698 yards and six touchdowns. Returning wideout Michael Thomas, another Ohio State product and the NFL offensive player of the year in 2019, did not play in 2021 with an ankle injury that also sidelined him for nine games in 2020.

Penning is their fourth first-round blocker in the last eight years, joining Andrus Peat (2015), Ryan Ramczyk (2017) and Cesar Ruiz (2020). They also took offensive lineman Erik McCoy with their top pick in 2019, when they did not have a first-rounder. 

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