New Orleans Saints: Deonte Harris is the best player no one talks about

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris (11) - Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris (11) - Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Deonte Harris may be small in stature, but he shouldn’t be overlooked on the NFL stage.

Signed as an undrafted free agent rookie following the 2019 season out of D-II Assumption College in Massachusetts, the 5’6″ Harris has been electrifying when on the field for the Saints.

The 23-year-old has developed into something of a swiss army knife-type weapon for Sean Payton, drawing up all kinds of creative ways to utilize his blazing speed (He ran a blistering 4.35 40 at a Pro Day in 2019) from deploying him out wide as a deep threat to special teams.

Harris won the starting punt and kick returning job for the Saints out of training camp and immediately made an impact, returning his first kick for a 57-yard touchdown in Week 3 of the 2019 season at the Seahawks. That was the moment Saints fans and the team knew they had something special.

Deonte Harris is the New Orleans Saints’ secret weapon.

Harris finished the 2019 season with 982 kick/punt return yards, earning his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections. The D-II dynamo even had the biggest play of the Saints’ frustrating 2019 playoff loss to the Vikings in the Superdome, catching a massive pitch-and-catch bomb from Taysom Hill, further illustrating his explosiveness while foreshadowing his greater role in the offense in 2020.

The 23-year-old had 186 yards receiving on 20 catches in 2020 for an average of 9.3 yards per catch as his role on offense expanded.

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For what it’s worth, Chiefs’ wideout Tyreek Hill started out averaging 9.7 yards per catch in his rookie season. He now averages close to 15 YPC.

Hill and Harris are pretty similar players in terms of build and speed. Perhaps Harris’ ceiling can be as high as one of the best receivers in the NFL.

The Saints have plenty of star power on the roster on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense, where they’re lead by elite playmakers Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Therefore, it can be easy to look past Harris even on his own team.

But we shouldn’t, and NFL fans shouldn’t. Deonte Harris is an absolute dynamo out there, similar to Darren Sproles and the impact he had on this offense while he was in New Orleans.

No. 11 plays fast and furious and should be a major weapon for either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill to use on shot plays, which Coach Payton is sure to dial up considering the strong arms in his QB room.

Next. 5 Free Agents Who Would Improve Saints Roster. dark

It’s about time we (and the league as a whole) started paying more attention to Deonte Harris, quite possibly the best player in the NFL no one is talking about.