Saints: 3 standouts from week 1 of preseason

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints
Marcus Davenport, New Orleans Saints. Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. /

While the New Orleans Saints came up short on the road in their effort to halt the Baltimore Ravens’ 15-game preseason winning streak Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, the performance of several young players signaled reasons for optimism in the season ahead.

While the night saw encouraging performances from the likes of Zack Baun, Marquez Callaway, Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, Juwan Johnson, Bryce Thompson and Eric Burrell, there were three such showings that truly stood out from the team’s preseason debut.

Saints’ standout No.1: Marcus Davenport

Marcus Davenport could be accused of channeling his inner-Trey Hendrickson Sunday night in the Saints’ exhibition opener in Baltimore.

Appearing unblockable at times, the fourth-year Saint offered fans a glimpse of the tantalizing skillset that the team’s front office surrendered multiple first round picks to secure in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With continued development and (most importantly) sustained health in the 2021 season, Davenport could finally be ready to reward the Saints investment.

Saints’ standout No.2: Paulson Adebo

Much has been written about the glaring roster hole at the number two cornerback spot on the New Orleans defense.

While it is perhaps wise not to put too much stock in a single preseason contest, rookie Paulson Adebo certainly gives the appearance of a player capable of rendering help at a position of need.

Despite not having seen the playing field in nearly two years after opting out of the 2020 NCAA season at Stanford, Adebo’s seemed at ease in the Saints’ press-heavy defense, logging 28 defensive snaps on the evening.

Saints’ standout No. 3: Tony Jones Jr.

The unquestioned star of the Saints’ first preseason game was running back Tony Jones Jr.

Jones, a second year pro and former teammate of quarterback Ian Book at Notre Dame, accounted for 120 all-purpose yards (seven rushing attempts for 82 yards, five receptions for 38 yards) and a touchdown in the team’s loss to the Ravens.

Jones’ performance comes at an opportune time, as the switching of Ty Montgomery to full-time receiver leaves an opening on the team’s roster for a runner.

Next. 3 veterans who need to show something in Week 1 of preseason. dark

While the snap counts favored those listed above on Saturday night, the preseason is in but its earliest stages. Saints fans can surely look forward to a proper unveiling of the Payton Turners and Pete Werners of the world in the pair of preseason contests that remain.