Updated May 5, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
For seven seasons, the Saints enjoyed having Joe Horn as their top wide receiver, and the gritty playmaker became a fan favorite in the Big Easy. Joe Horn's son, Jaycee Horn, was one of the top talents in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Saints head coach Sean Payton had designs on making playing for the franchise a family tradition for the Horns. Sources say the Saints tried to trade up for a top-10 pick to take Horn and were even making offers to division rival the Carolina Panthers before the Panthers decided to turn down the trade offers to select Horn for themselves.
It would have taken a massive haul of draft picks for the Saints to get a team to give up a top-10 pick because their first-round selection was No. 28. In the final days before the 2021 NFL Draft, there were rumors in the media that the Saints were trying to trade into the top 10, and sources say the rumors were true with Horn as the intended target.
After getting turned down, New Orleans took Houston defensive end Payton Turner, and many believe Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome would have been the Saints' pick had the Browns not snatched him up at No. 26. Sources say the Saints absolutely loved Horn and thought he could form one of the best, if not the best, cornerback tandems in the NFL with Marshon Lattimore. The Panthers, among other teams, had Horn as their highest-graded defensive player, and the Panthers' defense needed a No. 1 corner after allowing James Bradberry to leave in free agency a year ago.
This offseason, the Saints moved on from veteran Janoris Jenkins, so they were targeting cornerback help in the 2021 NFL Draft. After missing out on Horn and Newsome, however, New Orleans waited until the third round, where the team drafted Stanford's Paulson Adebo. While the Saints clearly liked Adebo, sources say Horn was their initial target and they had aggressively tried to trade up for him.