Saints Rookie Watch: Pete Werner impressed in his NFL debut
The New Orleans Saints beat the New England Patriots by double-digits and two rookies had a nice showing in the victory. Four of the team’s first five picks in this year’s draft took the field for NOLA with one making his debut. Pete Werner, the team’s second-round selection, finally took the field and looked good.
Werner, a linebacker out of Ohio State, missed the first two games due to an injury, but he finally made his way onto the gridiron for this showdown with the Patriots. The former Buckeye played in nearly half of the defensive snaps and had two total tackles. He played more than Zack Baun, who only was present in 10% of the snaps.
With Kwon Alexander‘s injury, Werner has a chance to step up and be a force alongside Demario Davis at the linebacker spot. The Saints believed he could be a game-changer for them and it was good to see him on the field.
The only rookie to play in 100% of the snaps was third-round pick Paulson Adebo, who has now started in all three games for NOLA. Adebo was good in Week 1, shaky in Week 2, and bounced back in a big way in Week 3. He recorded five tackles in the win.
After a big debut last week, first-round pick Payton Turner disappointed in Week 3. Turner played in 44% of the snaps but didn’t have anything to note on the stat sheet this week. He’s only two games into what Saints fans are hoping is a long career so let’s not read too much into this.
Landon Young also made his offensive debut in this game, but it obviously wasn’t as exhilarating as Werner’s was on defense. Young appeared in just 8% of the offensive snaps but played in 21% of special teams snaps. He saw some playing time on offense after Terron Armstead went down with an injury.
Saints rookies continue to make their mark.
Pete Werner was the highlight this week and NOLA drafted him to light a fire under Baun’s butt after he struggled as a rookie. Baun also struggled in Carolina last week so it was nice seeing Werner able to make a positive impact early on.
The only two Saints rookies we haven’t seen from the 2021 draft class are Ian Book and Kawaan Baker. Book is the third (or fourth, depending on how you look at it) quarterback on the roster, so hopefully, we don’t see him at any point this season because it’d mean either Jameis Winston is injured or ineffective. Baker is on the practice squad and with the question marks at wide receiver, it’s not a stretch that we could see him at some point.
For now, however, we can focus on the four drafted rookies we have seen take the field and they’ve looked good for the most part.