Back in the 2017 NFL draft star, Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore fell to the Saints’ lap at 11th overall because of lingering hamstring issues. He was their top player on their board and it was a no-question pick for them after the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to grab some guy named Patrick Mahomes. Lattimore has turned out to be a Pro Bowl corner for the Saints and is looking for a big-time extension.
The Saints could find themselves in a similar situation later this month when one of the top cornerbacks in the draft, Caleb Farley, potentially falls into their lap. Caleb Farley opted out of the 2020 college football season due to Covid, but also used that time to undergo a microdiscectomy, which is a procedure performed on patients with a herniated lumbar disc. During this surgery, a surgeon removes portions of the herniated disc to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve column.
This has lowered Farley’s draft stock immensely, as coming into the year some had him rated as the top cornerback in this year’s draft. Alabama’s Patrick Surtain has taken the crown as this year’s top cornerback on most boards, and Farley’s name continues to drop. Farley may still be CB2 or CB3 but injury concerns could cause teams to take guys like Jaycee Horn, Greg Newsome, and even Asante Samuel, Jr. before him. However, it has been reported that Farley should be good to go for training camp.
Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, a projected first-round pick, will have a microdisectomy Tuesday with noted back-specialist Robert Watkins and will not work out at his pro day Friday, per his agent @DrewJRosenhaus.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2021
The agent for Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, @DrewJRosenhaus, said a “bunch of team doctors and trainers” told him after today’s medical recheck in Indianapolis that Farley “did well with his physical regarding his back and is still expected to go in the first round.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2021
Farley most recently appeared in 2019 for the Hokies where he had four interceptions and 12 batted passes in 10 games.
If the Saints are targeting Farley, they may actually have to end up trading up for him. Farley’s value, absent injury concerns, is objectively much higher than being the 28th overall pick. But the Saints could benefit, and injury concerns may start Farley’s free fall to New Orleans. If the Saints were to select Farley, he would most likely start across from Marshon Lattimore as early as Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. The Saints brought in veteran CB T.J. Carrie earlier this month, who has now re-signed with the Colts. They could be in the market for a new CB now. If the Saints were indeed to draft Farley, adding Carrie might be a good idea if Farley won’t be able to go early in the season.
Farley fits the mold of a Saints draft pick: elite talent, high production, and a question mark that could make or break the selection. The Saints do lots of homework on all of their prospects, and come draft day, they look to target a player that may fall to them and they’ll do anything to get them. Do the Saints have their eye on Caleb Farley?
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