Juwan Johnson might have officially passed Adam Trautman on Saints depth chart
By Kristen Wong
New Orleans Saints' Juwan Johnson upped his stock and ascended the depth chart in Week 1, arguably moving past the more experienced Adam Trautman.
In the season-opening victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Johnson played 45 snaps, which was 20 more than de facto No. 1 tight end Adam Trautman.
Johnson finished the game as the team's third-best receiver, recording two catches for 43 yards. The third-year tight end may have leapfrogged Trautman on the depth chart after that performance as it seems the Saints are incorporating Johnson, rather than Trautman, in more passing plays.
It's only Week 1, but the Saints' tight end battle just got a little more interesting.
Saints' Juwan Johnson made his case for being the team's No. 1 tight end in 2022
Johnson could hardly be considered a reliable starter -- he started just six games in the last two years. He did enjoy quite a bit of usage in red zone plays last year posting four touchdowns, yet he only eked out 159 receiving yards.
With Taysom Hill also serving as a versatile gadget player at the position, NOLA's tight end corps hasn't yet cemented its identity in 2022.
Johnson could feasibly grow into the No. 1 tight end role with Trautman serving as the backup, and given the Saints' snap counts so far it would look as though New Orleans want to develop Johnson as an elite pass-catcher.
Does that mean all hope is lost for Trautman? Probably not. As we've said before, it's only Week 1, and plenty could change as the season progresses.
After a poor first half showing against Atlanta, Saints need to figure out how to maximize their offensive efficiency and get their passing attack going earlier on in games.
Johnson could play a sizeable role this season as a capable receiver in that attack, but he -- nor Trautman, for that matter -- can't be depended on just yet.