Deonte Harris is set to have a huge role in the Saints offense next season with the release of veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The undrafted kick returner has transitioned into so much than just an All-Pro returner during his time in the Big Easy.
Harris and Marques Callaway are the two set to gain the most from the release of Sanders. That said, the former Pro Bowl receiver should have a market as he’ll be among the best value additions.
As for Harris, he came on late in the season and was among the more impactful receivers for New Orleans. With him entering his third season in the NFL, he could be set for a career year both as a receiver and returner.
The New Orleans Saints have released Emmanuel Sanders, and Deonte Harris is the player that may benefit the most from his exodus.
Harris benefited from having an uber-accurate quarterback in Drew Brees. After all, it’s not easy to be the biggest target when you’re just 5-foot-6. With a transition at quarterback likely, it’ll be interesting to see the impact it has on Harris’ completion percentage.
Harris easily had his most productive game against the Bears during Wild Card weekend.
The 23-year-old had a season-high seven receptions and caught every ball that was thrown his way. He turned those seven receptions into 83 yards. Sadly, he was a non-factor as the Saints then welcomed the Super Bowl champion Bucs into the Dome.
Given that Harris was oftentimes either a specialty option for the fourth-string receiver for New Orleans, he didn’t get much opportunity. Harris played in just 16 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
With Sanders out of the picture, there will be a big chance for Harris to thrive. Unlike with many receivers, I believe the quarterback will have a drastic impact on Harris’s production.
With an 80 percent catch rate on 20 receptions (25 targets in 2020), Harris has proven to be able to create separation and get open. He also has proven that he has good hands and can make plays.
Combine all those and the fact that Sanders is now on his way out of the Big Easy, and it’s easy to see why Harris’s role may increase quite a bit in 2021.