Former UH DL Payton Turner drafted 28th overall by New Orleans Saints
Former Houston defensive end Payton Turner, who played for the Cougars from 2017-2020, is the newest member of the New Orleans Saints after being selected 28th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Turner played in 39 games during his four-year career at UH, totaling 115 tackles including nine sacks. The six-foot-six-inch, 270 pound Houston native broke out in 2020, finishing with 25 tackles, 10.5 which were tackles for a loss including five sacks in just five games played.
After being projected to be a late second round or early third round pick in most experts’ mock drafts, Turner’s draft stock rose late, according to ESPN”s Adam Schefter. Schefter tweeted, “Houston DE Payton Turner could go in the first round due to his character, medicals and length, some NFL execs believe.”
Turner joins a plethora of NFL athletes that grew up in the Houston area, which had produced the most active players in the NFL as of the 2020 season with 24.
He also joins Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Josh Jones and Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver as former Cougars to be drafted in recent memory.