On the eve of the 2021 NFL Draft, there are some rumblings that the New Orleans Saints could be making some noise in the first round. According to multiple reports, the club is weighing the possibility of trading up from the No. 28 overall selection. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports adds that Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley could be the target in the event New Orleans decides to climb up the board and that the Saints would likely need to move ahead of the Tennessee Titans, who are slated to pick No. 22.
Cornerback is a clear need for the Saints, so it makes sense that Farley would be a key target. This offseason, the team needed to released starting corner Janoris Jenkins to comply with the decreased salary cap across the league, leaving a hole on the roster. Head coach Sean Payton recently even emphasized how adding a cornerback is the need for New Orleans.
"There's one (priority)," Payton told Luke Johnson of NOLA.com last week. "Look, 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."
All things being equal, Farley wouldn't be available to the Saints if they jumped into the late teens or early 20s. When healthy, the Virginia Tech star is arguably the top player at his position in this class, but health hasn't been on his side throughout the pre-draft process. Farley's stock took a hit when he needed to undergo a procedure on his back in mid-March. Specifically, he underwent a microdiscectomy, which is a procedure to relieve pain from a herniated lumbar disc.
While that sent him from being possibly the first cornerback off the board and a potential top-10 pick to someone who may be hearing his name called in the bottom half of round one, this injury reportedly won't put a dent in Farley's career. As he recently told Peter King of NBC Sports, he's received positive updates from NFL doctors, who note that he should be ready for the start of the season and offered their assurance that this is not a chronic injury. Of course, that may not liven his stock to the point where he'll be a top-15 selection, but it does open the door for him to land with a team like New Orleans.
If the Saints do make a move to go up and get Farley, he'll be receiving the call from quarantine as a positive COVID-19 test has forced him to miss the draft festivities in Cleveland.