New Orleans Saints: 3 breakout candidates for 2021 season

Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
TreQuan Smith #10 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints who could breakout in 2021 – No. 1: Tre’Quan Smith

The Saints need someone to step up as the No. 2 wide receiver desperately and the biggest hope in that department is Tre’Quan Smith. New Orleans selected Smith in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Central Florida and while there have been a few flashes of potential here and there, he hasn’t been the player the team was hoping for.

This is it for Smith as far as getting his opportunity. He had his best year in 2020, which was aided by the injury to Michael Thomas, hauling in 34 receptions for 448 yards and four touchdowns. For a guy who was the consensus No. 3 wide receiver entering the season, Saints fans were fine with these numbers.

Now that he’s the No. 2 option, however, the numbers have to be better. He needs to go for over 700 yards and make a statement in the red zone. He had five touchdowns in both his rookie season and sophomore season, so last year was a decrease when it came to finding the end zone.

Smith is entering the final year of his rookie deal so it’s now or never for the UCF product. If he has an insane season, he has the chance to make a lot of dough this offseason and that should be the incentive for Smith.

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The Saints have to see production from some of their underperformers in order to truly compete for a playoff spot. If these three players can have breakout seasons, New Orleans could find themselves in the playoffs for the sixth straight year.