Saints Breakout Players of the Year by SNN Writers

Saints Breakout Players of the Year by SNN Writers

Many NFL teams can credit their success to a player who emerges seemingly from nowhere to have a great year or a remarkable career. Sometimes it’s a rookie who was drafted in the lower rounds. Sometimes it’s a veteran player who has found a formula for success.

The New Orleans Saints have seen their fair share of superstar players. Who could have foreseen the success of a 2017 third-round draft choice named Alvin Kamara? Deonte Harty was an undrafted afterthought who became an All-Pro kick returner. Trey Hendrickson had a solid career over his first three years, then exploded his way into a big contract with 13.5 sacks in 2020. Paulson Adebo was an intriguing third-round selection and became one of the most promising young corners in the league last year.

So who will be the Saints ”breakout” players in 2022? The Saints News Network crew presents their choices of candidates to follow.

Brendan Boylan

Nov 7, 2021; New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner (98) against Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews (70). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 7, 2021; New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner (98) against Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews (70). Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are loaded with talent headed into the 2022 NFL season. However, despite the hype and big named acquisitions to the defense in the offseason one name continues to be overlooked… 2021 First-Round NFL Draft selection Payton Turner. The former Houston Cougar has shown glimpses of his potential to become a major playmaker on the edge. His unique combination of strength and speed, as well as his eagerness and willingness to learn from the team’s veterans, have made him a standout performer. If Turner is healthy, he will be able to play a role on the defensive line and add a few tackles for loss and 6 sacks for the Black and Gold.

John Hendrix

Nov 14, 2021; New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman (82) runs after a catch against the Tennessee Titans. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 14, 2021; New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman (82) runs after a catch against the Tennessee Titans. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Saints Breakout Candidate: Adam Trautman. Although Trautman seemed to be in a great position last year, injuries and inconsistency at quarterback didn’t help.

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Coming into this season, everyone understands how loaded the Saints are at wide receiver, and they know what to expect from ‘Boom and Zoom’ in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. This could be the best season for Adam Trautman’s defense.

He will see a lot of targets, which should lead to his best season with the Saints. The other player worth mentioning would be from the same draft group in Cesar Ruiz.

Kyle T. Mosley

Chris Olave in Preseason

Wide receiver Chris Olave may be a rookie but you have a feeling that he will play like a veteran for New Orleans this season.

I expect Olave to have over 50 receptions, 700 yards, and 6 touchdowns and make a strong case of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. His odds are already 12-1 in Vegas.

Bob Rose

Oct 10, 2021; Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29) intercepts a pass intended for Washington receiver Curtis Samuel (10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY

Oct 10, 2021; Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29) intercepts a pass intended for Washington receiver Curtis Samuel (10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY

He’s already been mentioned, but I believe that we’ve only seen the beginning of what Paulson Adebo can do. The 10th corner selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, Adebo started every game as a rookie.

Playing opposite of perennial Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore, he tied for the team lead with 3 interceptions, broke up 8 passes, and had four tackles for loss among 66 total stops.

Targeted often as a rookie, Adebo surrendered just 61.8% completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks. He was even more impressive against the Saints’ top receivers during training camp.

*NoteAdebo will miss this Sunday’s season opener at Atlanta with an ankle injury. Adebo has the man coverage skills and ball skills of a converted wideout. I expect him to be a star for a New Orleans defense that is already full of talent.

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