The NOLA Saints tight ends left a lot to be desired last year. Can they step it up in 2022? One analyst isn’t confident that they can.
The New Orleans Saints opted not to address the tight end position in free agency or the draft and will likely enter the 2022 season with the same group they had a year ago. That group didn’t play well and Mike Clay of ESPN doesn’t predict they’ll do much again.
Clay released his projections for every team and the standout for the Saints was the lackluster numbers from the tight ends. In total, he had the unit racking up just 509 yards and five touchdowns between four different players.
Adam Trautman leads the group in production with 361 yards and three touchdowns, which, yes, would be career-highs for him. Trautman hasn’t been the kind of weapon the team was hoping for when they made him a third-round pick two years ago and this season is very much do-or-die for him so these numbers wouldn’t be enough to make him a long-term answer as the starting tight end.
The other three tight ends listed on Clay’s projections fail to go over the 100-yard mark and Nick Vannett is second with 75 yards and a touchdown off of seven catches. It’s surprising to see Taysom Hill in the three-spot, and Clay has the versatile playmaker hauling in five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Juwan Johnson is projected to have two catches for 17 yards.
NOLA Saints tight ends expected to disappoint
A big reason why the tight ends’ numbers could be down in the projections is that the Saints beefed up their wide receiver room. Adding Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry gives Jameis Winston two new weapons to throw to so he might not be looking in his tight ends’ direction as much now that he has a solid trio of receivers at his disposal.
Even still, it’d be disappointing to see the leading tight end finish the season with just 361 yards. Trautman is on thin ice this year and he’ll have to perform better than that if he wants to be in the Saints’ long-term plans.
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