Saints Roster: Ranking the candidates for the No. 3 TE job

Nick Vannett, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Nick Vannett, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

2. Juwan Johnson

There are always a few guys who stand out in the preseason who then go on to not do a ton in the regular season. Juwan Johnson fit that bill for the 2021 season. After playing wide receiver, Johnson transitioned to the tight end spot in a move that looked smart since that position was a bit of a mess entering last year.

After showing incredible chemistry with Jameis Winston during the preseason last year, Johnson only finished the 2021 season with 159 yards off of 13 catches. He did find the end zone four times but two of those touchdowns came in the first week of the season.

Once Winston went down, Johnson’s targets also evaporated and did even more so when Nick Vannett returned to the active roster. If the Saints end up carrying only three tight ends, Johnson could be the odd man out but if he puts another solid preseason performance together, that could change.

1. Nick Vannett

The likely option for the third-string tight end job is Nick Vannett, who the Saints signed to a three-year deal last offseason. He only appeared in seven games during his inaugural year in New Orleans and had just nine catches for 133 yards.

With two years remaining on his contract, however, Vannett has the edge over the other tight ends on the roster. Maybe the team can somehow work out a trade for him at some point in order to give another tight end a chance but that seems unlikely.

Unless Johnson or Krull has an incredible preseason, Vannett is probably going to be the third tight end behind Adam Trautman and Taysom Hill.

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