Sports Illustrated names Saints cornerback as team's most underrated player

Alontae Taylor, New Orleans Saints
Alontae Taylor, New Orleans Saints / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Sports Illustrated's choice for the New Orleans Saints most underrated player may surprise some Saints fans, but then again that may just be the entire point.

Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated came out with a list of each of the 32 NFL team's most underrated player heading into the 2023 season. The choice of player for the New Orleans Saints is certainly an interesting one, but also a player with a chance to contribute in a big way for the Saints.

The Saints drafted cornerback Alontae Taylor in second-round of last year's draft, and showed signs of promise when given the chance to play. He finished the year with an opposing quarterback completion percentage of 48%. As a result, he now finds himself in a battle with Paulson Abedo for the starting outside cornerback position opposite Marshon Lattimore.

What Taylor has going for him is his versatility to also play in the slot, and his natural coverage skills. What he may need to work on, is his tackling and dropping an unfortunate amount of interceptions, that could have made his rookie season look a lot better. Fortunately, these are things that can be worked at to improve on.

The training camp battle between Abedo and Taylor is one that coul be fun to watch. What also could be fun to watch, should Taylor win the battle, is his one-on-one battles with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London for years to come, which we got a tase of when both were rookies in 2022, and it's a matchup Orr highlighted in his Sports Illustrated piece.

Not only does Alontae Taylor have a golden opportunity on his hands, but the New Orleans Saints do too. If the underrated youngster can build on his upward trajectory, then the talented defense can do the same, and help take the underrated team to heights many don't think they can reach.

dark. Next. CB Battle II. More on the CB battle