Bleacher Report picks Deonte Harris to break out for Saints in 2021
By Kristen Wong
No Michael Thomas, no problem? The New Orleans Saints may have a starry new receiver in Deonte Harris to lead the pass-catching corps for the rest of 2021.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently revealed a list of one player from every NFL team would could break out before the end of the 2021 season.
All of the selections have five or fewer years of pro experience, and Moton describes them as “unheralded players with opportunities ahead of them or high draft picks from recent classes who have a ton of room for growth.”
For the Saints, Deonte Harris was the chosen breakout candidate:
"In need of a spark through the air, the Saints should increase Harris’ snap count and role within an offense that could use his speed (4.35 40-yard dash) and ability to extend plays. He’s averaging 15.4 yards per catch for the season."
Along with teammate Marquez Callaway, Harris has led the Saints’ wide receiver unit with 21 catches for 323 yards along with two scores.
New Orleans Saints’ Deonte Harris listed as a potential breakout star in late 2021
The formerly undrafted free agent weighs on the smaller and leaner side for a wideout, but he’s nevertheless evolved into a primary target in the Saints’ passing game through nine weeks this season.
Also a very effective punt returner, Harris hasn’t played 50 percent of offensive snaps in any game so far, yet he leads NOLA in receiving yards and can boast a respectable 67.7 percent catch rate.
With the current dilapidated state of the Saints’ wide receiver unit, chances are Harris will get more looks from Trevor Siemian starting in Week 10, when Alvin Kamara will be sidelined and New Orleans will have to rely on what little passing attack they have.
Though Callaway was touted to be one of the more successful Saints’ receivers following an extremely impressive preseason, Harris has since overtaken him in production and figures as a more reliable target heading into the second half of the season.
If Harris does manage to break out and carve out a huge WR1 or WR2 role for himself in the Saints’ offense this year, New Orleans can feel much better about their receiving corps and their playoff chances overall.