Why Kendre Miller could be the next franchise running back for the Saints

New Orleans Saints running back Kendre Miller had an injury-ridden rookie season in 2023, but Miller has a chance to break out in 2024.
New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints have had multiple elite running backs throughout their franchise’s history. Even though Kendre Miller wasn’t able to play a majority of the 2023 season, he still has the ability this year to prove himself as the next franchise halfback. It is not a given by any means, but Miller has both the talent, the opportunity, and the momentum to get it done.

He capped off an injury-ridden 2023 rookie season with a great performance against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 18. In that game, Miller ran the ball 13 times for 73 yards and a touchdown. Miller was extremely efficient when he was given the ball, averaging 5.6 yards per play and had three rushes go over 10 yards.

In that game, Miller proved how tough he is to bring down. This was evident when on the three yard line, Miller bounced off of multiple defenders and extended the ball just so it broke the plane. He is relentless and uses his combination of power and agility to make a nightmare for defenses to face.

Miller wasn’t asked to be a receiving threat out of the backfield very much in college, catching just 29 passes in his three seasons at TCU. Even though he wasn’t experienced at it, Miller still proved to be not only a reliable, but also dynamic threat in the short passing game, catching 10-of-11 targets for 117 yards during his rookie season.

In Week 5 against the New England Patriots, Miller chipped the left end and ran out to the flat route to give Derek Carr a checkdown. Once Miller got the ball he was full steam ahead, weaving through defenders en route to a 33 yard gain. 

That wasn’t Miller’s only instance of him making a play as a receiver. In Week 9, against the Chicago Bears, the Saints set up a screen to the running back. Miller showed his speed and ran past defenders, resulting in a 31 yard gain. The Saints love their receiving backs which Miller is developing into.

With Klint Kubiak coming in at offensive coordinator. The Saints are now have a zone running scheme. This scheme compliments Miller’s skillset extremely well, and he even has experience in the system, dating back to his days at TCU.

With Alvin Kamara’s future with the franchise influx, Kendre Miller could have the opportunity to really be establish himself. He brings a rare combination of power and elusiveness that could make him the next franchise running back in New Orleans. If Miller can stay injury free, the future's looking bright for the running back room.