Both Marshon Lattimore, who will play on the fifth-year option, and Patrick Robinson are scheduled to become free agents next offseason. Especially if they aren't able to retain both, they could look to add another corner early in 2022. Gardner (6-2, 188) is a long corner with natural playmaking abilities -- three interceptions in each of his first two seasons for the Bearcats.
The football world awaits the camp battle between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill to determine the successor after the retirement of quarterback Drew Brees. But with rumblings that the New Orleans Saints were looking to move up in the first round a few days ago, potentially to draft a quarterback if the one they liked was available, QB might be a position to watch for the Saints next spring.
Kedon Slovis, the USC passer, might be the kind of QB to catch Sean Payton's eye. Through 18 career games for the Trojans Slovis has posted a completion percentage of 70.0%, along with 5,423 passing yards, 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, giving him a career NCAA Passing Efficiency mark of 158.2. His ball placement and proficiency could be a fit in Payton's offense.
The SEC is loaded with corners heading into 2021, and Emerson's game deserves more love. He broke up 12 of his 59 targets as a sophomore this past season and only allowed 33 catches for 306 yards. He's a long playmaker on the outside at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds.
Despite it being a big need, the Saints waited until Round 7 to draft a receiver last week (Kawaan Baker). Their current WR depth chart beyond Michael Thomas has Tre'Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway in starting roles, and regardless of who the quarterback is, the Saints need receiving help. Pickens is a 6-foot-3 receiver with 14 TDs over the past two seasons. He tore his ACL in March, but he is still a top receiver in the class and could return late in the season for a final draft push.
Battle became a full-time starter as a sophomore last season and didn't disappoint, earning high marks from the coaches for his play versus the run and the pass. Safeties have been shut out of the first round each of the last two years, but players like Hamilton and Battle will try to change that next spring.
Jobe doesn't come into the '21 season with the recognition of, say, Patrick Surtain II or even Trevon Diggs, but he's a long CB who plays at Alabama and has more than held his own against some of the best players in the country.
Daniels is not yet a first-round lock, but there is a pretty decent chance he gets to that range after the 2021 season. Daniels, a former five-star recruit and freshman starter at USC, came on strong for the Bulldogs down the stretch after returning from a knee injury that took him down in 2019. Though he does not have the strongest arm, Daniels' decision making is sound and he's got the accuracy to be a difference maker. Potentially not having George Pickens at WR this year will hurt, but that UGA offense is well constructed and has some other ball-winners.