Ranking the Saints’ biggest needs after first wave of free agency

Marquez Callaway #1 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Marquez Callaway #1 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Adam Trautman #82 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

2. Tight End

Compared to the league’s top tight ends, Saints’ Adam Trautman ranks pretty far down there. The 2020 third-rounder got his limelight in 2021 as the team’s primary tight end, but he failed to make much of an impact.

In 13 games, Trautman recorded 27 catches for 263 yards, finding the end zone just twice. Despite seeing an uptick in usage, Trautman’s efficiency and catch percentage has free-fallen off a cliff and entering Year 3 in the league, he becomes little more than a liability.

Behind him, previously undrafted Penn State product Juwan Johnson could see more snaps, but Johnson’s production last season was spotty as well. Part of that may be due to the sheer amount of turnover in the Saints offense in 2021, what with a three or four-quarterback rotation and a constantly injured offensive line, so more stability this time around should give Trautman and Johnson a better chance to succeed.

Even so, NOLA’s tight end room is bare, and the free agent tight end market is perhaps even barer. After the league’s elite tight ends got franchise-tagged or signed early in free agency, New Orleans will have to address this position in the draft. Snatching up a mostly unproven talent at tight end is far from ideal, but at this stage in the game, the Saints don’t have better options.