3 Saints players who could lose snaps to rookies in 2024

Which veterans might have to worry a bit?
New Orleans Saints, A.T. Perry
New Orleans Saints, A.T. Perry / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

With the 2024 NFL Draft firmly in the rear view and fans focused on the recently-released schedule, the offseason is progressing at a nice pace, now.

It's time we get ready for OTA's and training camp, where we could see some roster battles start to heat up, especially when it comes to some of this year's rookie class.

We know Taliese Fuaga should come in and start right away, pushing Trevor Penning to a reserve role, also assuming Ryan Ramczyk's health is not in question. But, other than Fuaga, there are three rookies, specifically, who could take away some playing time from veterans ahead of them on the depth chart.

Three Saints players, in particular, could lose out on playing time to a 2024 rookie

A.T. Perry, WR

The receiver room should be fun to watch battle it out during training camp. There are some guys with a wide variety of skill sets, such as Rashid Shaheed, A.T. Perry and rookie Bub Means. Perry showed some promise last year as a rookie, and should get a chance to start early on this offseason.

However, the fifth-round pick out of Pittsburgh might have something to say about that. Means has run-after-the-catch potential and, once he gets to his top speed, always has the chance to take it to the house. He has also shown an ability to win 50/50 balls and can be a contested catch winner. Perry will get his time, but it may not be as much as he'd like if Means has himself a good summer.

Nathan Shepherd, DT

Currently, Nathan Shepherd is a starter. But, if last year was any indication of what's to come, he could be in danger of losing his job. Shepherd was particularly bad against the run. While he offered potential as a pass rusher, the Saints still need him to be well-rounded enough to where he's not a liability in one area vs. the other.

Sixth-round rookie Khristian Boyd comes in with an opportunity to steal some playing time from Shepherd, without a doubt. The Northern Iowa product has a strong, well-built frame and if he can prove to be a force against the run, do not be surprised if he steals some snaps away from Shepherd.

Alontae Taylor, Slot CB

At the moment, the Saints' starting cornerback room includes Marshon Lattimore and Paulson Adebo on the outside, plus Alontae Taylor in the slot. But, with the addition of second-round pick Kool-Aid McKinstry, someone is going to have to take a back seat eventually.

The Saints didn't spend that capital on McKinstry for him to sit. It could end up being Taylor who gets demoted. After all, Taylor did struggle last year. In 2023, Taylor allowed a passer rating of 98.5, plus a catch percentage of 66.4 while giving up six touchdowns.

McKinstry is going to be a starter in this league, one way or another. It will likely be at the expense of Taylor in Year 1.