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Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, and Others



In a welcome change to years past, the 2023 incoming class of rookies is a breath of fresh air for dynasty, as not only is the wide receiver position top-heavy in talent, but the depth of the class sets it apart. Fantasy football will look very different by the time September rolls around. As the top prospects continue their preparations for the NFL draft, here are my current 2023 dynasty rookie WR rankings

Top 5 Dynasty Rookie WR Rankings 2023

1) Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Recording 95 receptions, Jaxon Smith-Njigba set a Big Ten single-season record with 1,606 receiving yards. With Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave sitting out the postseason as they focused on the NFL draft, Smith-Njigba set a Rose Bowl record in 2021 with 347 receiving yards on 15 receptions and was named MVP.

His over-the-shoulder touchdown from C.J. Stroud still plays in my head. Due to a hamstring injury, Smith-Njigba only played in three games in 2022. Yet, his draft stock was already set.

From a technical standpoint, Smith-Njigba checks every box. His hands and route running are phenomenal. He’s an elite separator, has sensational body control, and is extremely intelligent in how he operates over the middle of the field. The only thing missing from Smith-Njigba’s skill set is top-end speed, but that certainly hasn’t hampered his play as of yet.

At the same time, Smith-Njigba doesn’t get anywhere near the credit he deserves for his deceiving physicality and in-play intelligence, seemingly always flashing his numbers and working back to the QB when the play is extended. I don’t see him as a perimeter-centric receiver but someone who can float outside, yet spends most of his reps in the slot, which, as we know, can play a massive role in the more slot/volume-driven NFL.

On the right team, Smith-Njigba could be a high-volume PPR star as a slightly less dynamic CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy-style player.

2) Quentin Johnston, TCU

The upper tier of the 2023 WR rookie class lacks the elite, clear-cut No. 1 option. There is no Ja’Marr Chase or Justin Jefferson in this class. As a whole, the class isn’t going to be breaking any models when it comes to evaluations and projections.

With that said, there is still some top-tier talent available, especially with Quentin Johnston, my No. 2 ranked wide receiver currently, and in Tier 1 of WRs with Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison.

Johnston is the guy for you if you’re a fan of big-body wide receivers like I am. At 6’3″ and 208 pounds, he has a size advantage over 99% of corners and uses every inch of his frame to high-point with the best of them.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty Rookie Rankings

Of my Tier 1 guys, he’s the only one who truly broke out in 2022 and improved his draft stock. With 1,064 yards and six touchdowns on 59 of 94 receiving, Johnston averaged a massive 3.22 YPRR, 18 yards/rec, and an efficient 2.47 YPTPA.

The concern for Johnston is he’s a body catcher, which negates some of the size advantages he has. Additionally, drops are a bit of a red flag, but they felt more to be concentration drops than an overall lack of trust in his hands. This is something that can get cleaned up and will need to be corrected.

While JSN has the edge on Johnston and Addison, draft capital and landing spot will go a long way in determining the final order. These are three completely different archetypes, and each wins in their own way.

3) Jordan Addison, USC

From a refinement-of-skills standpoint, Addison likely takes the crown amongst 2023 rookie WRs. Unfortunately, his 2022 stats likely won’t stand up to others in this class, similar to JSN.

Addison suffered a leg injury against Utah and was seen on crutches but luckily avoided a major injury. He did return to play in the final four games but saw varying usage. In the end, Addison caught 59 of his 79 targets (74.7% catch rate) for 875 yards (2.78 YPRR & 7.0 YAC/R) with eight touchdowns.

The 2021 Biletnikoff winner at Pittsburgh, Addison had more than enough already on film. With 4.49 speed at the NFL Combine, his dynamic play style is more than evident, and it helps in his RAC capabilities.

Addison creates separation at all levels, and his tool belt is full both at the line on the release and at the stem. That will get him targets at the next level because separation is arguably the most important skill set teams look for in a wide receiver.

The “concern” many raise is Addison’s size at 5’11” but roughly 173 pounds. He’s not a universal fit like Johnston is, but I don’t believe Addison is pigeonholed into strictly being a slot receiver. Addison’s nuance and technique will allow him to strive at the next level.

4) Zay Flowers, Boston College

If there is a receiver from outside Tier 1 rankings that is the “Chris Olave of drafts,” it’s Zay Flowers. Someone selected in the second tier that ends up being a massive producer as a rookie and takes a substantial rise in value but is already a well-known name.

The All-ACC wide receiver led the Eagles with 78 receptions for 1,077 yards and 12 touchdowns this year with six games of 100+ yards. Not only that, but Flowers is first in Boston College history in receptions (200), yards (3,056), receiving touchdowns (29), touchdowns in a single season (12), and single-season receptions (78).

At 5’9″, Flowers’ catch radius is a question. With that said, the film already shows he can work outside his frame thanks to his body control, similar to Jahan Dotson from last year’s class but at a higher level. Flowers fights on every play and could be a YAC monster out of the slot, but his route running and play speed are sensational.

The comparisons being thrown around for Flowers are some of the best separators in recent NFL history, with names like Tyler Lockett and even Antonio Brown being thrown around.

Flowers will receive, at minimum, second-round draft capital. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the first round. Between Flowers and Smith-Njigba, Flowers might even have a higher chance of becoming a No. 1 option.

5) Marvin Mims, Oklahoma

I’ve had my eyes on Marvin Mims for quite some time, but even still, I feel I’ve been underrating what he brings to the NFL. After two strong seasons at Oklahoma in 2020 and 2021, Mims broke out in 2022. Catching 54 of his 87 targets, he recorded 1,082 yards and six touchdowns for the Sooners, including four games of over 100 yards and two with 160+.

Remember, he did this despite losing not only HC Lincoln Riley but also QB Caleb Williams, who went on to win the Heisman with USC.

Explosion is Mims’ game. Not only can he get off the line in a flash, but his ability to win downfield and produce after the catch leads to explosive plays. While he is a smaller receiver (5’11” and 183), not everyone needs to look like Calvin Johnson to be effective.

MORE: Dynasty Fantasy Football Startup Draft Strategies

His route tree at Oklahoma left many wanting more, but that was by design. Mims addressed this at the NFL Combine, saying the OU coaching staff didn’t ask players to run a technical and wide route tree. So it’s not to say Mims doesn’t have crisp breaks and routes. I believe he does, it’s just that it wasn’t asked of him. What he did show was elite hands, superb ball tracking, body control, and explosiveness.

With that said, Mims checks all the boxes. He was one of the best in the nation against man coverage, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash in Indy, with a 40″ vertical and 11’3″ board, resulting in a RAS score of 9.14. Mims has a 96th-percentile aDOT, 91st-percentile burst score, averaged 20.1 YPR, and his breakout season placed him in the 96th percentile.

The No. 5 spot will likely come down between Mims and Jalin Hyatt. Mims is a bit more of a universal fit, whereas Hyatt is more scheme dependent. However, Hyatt changes the math on the defense and exposes any little miscommunication or handoff in coverage.

Rather than death by a thousand paper cuts like Smith-Njigba, it’s a one-punch knockout from Hyatt. One thing that is certain is Hyatt has some of the best hands in the entire class. Unlike with Johnston, you never see a ball hit his chest.

If Hyatt goes to a team with an aggressive scheme and a QB with an accurate deep ball, he’ll likely vault Mims in the final rankings. When Hyatt puts his head down and goes, there is no keeping up with him. If he runs every route, not just ones with a vertical release, at full speed, it could be devastating but glorious for fantasy. I hope this happens as Hyatt has the skill set to either be elite or another “better for the NFL than fantasy” player.

Dynasty Rookie WR Rankings: 6-25

6) Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
7) Josh Downs, UNC
8) Rashee Rice, SMU
9) Jayden Reed, Michigan State
10) Kayshon Boutte, LSU
11) Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
12) Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
13) Puka Nacua, BYU
14) Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss
15) Parker Washington, Penn State
16) Charlie Jones, Purdue
17) Nathaniel Dell, Houston
18) A.T. Perry, Wake Forrest
19) Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
20) Rakim Jarrett, Maryland
21) Trey Palmer, Nebraska
22) Michael Wilson, Stanford
23) Matt Landers, Arkansas
24) Ronnie Bell, Michigan
25) Andrei Iosivas, Princeton

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Could the Raiders Move on Before the Season Even Starts?




According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Jimmy Garoppolo failed his physical after signing with the Las Vegas Raiders back in March. This led to the team reworking his contract to include what is essentially an “out” clause regarding Garoppolo’s surgically repaired foot.

Could the Raiders be in search of a new quarterback before the 2023 season even begins?

Jimmy Garoppolo Failed Physical Ramifications

When an NFL team signs or trades for a player, that player must pass a physical for the transaction to be official. Typically, this is just a formality. These are elite athletes in prime physical condition. Occasionally, players do fail physicals, often due to undisclosed or undiagnosed injuries.

Garoppolo’s foot issue was well-known to the Raiders. It was the injury that resulted in the San Francisco 49ers having to turn to Brock Purdy last season. As with most injuries to players, it is expected that the player will get the treatment he needs and be fine once he recovers, and Garoppolo, for his part, had surgery on his broken foot. However, it appears as though that foot is far from healed.

After failing his physical, the Raiders and Garoppolo renegotiated the terms of his contract. The team added several clauses related to the broken foot, including acknowledging the risk of further injury and absolving the Raiders of all potential liability.

Most notable for playing football purposes is the clause that converted Garoppolo’s entire $11.25 million signing bonus into his base salary. Garoppolo will only receive that money if the plays for the Raiders.

But Las Vegas can now release him at any point prior to the season if he is unable to pass a physical. In its simplest form, if Garoppolo doesn’t play a snap for the Raiders, he also won’t receive a dime from them.

What Might the Las Vegas Raiders Do if Jimmy Garoppolo Can’t Play?

It’s easy to dismiss injury concerns in May as likely to be resolved by September. Of course, three months is a long time. However, this contract was negotiated in March, and the Raiders were clearly concerned enough to not be willing to sign Garoppolo without assurances.

We must acknowledge the very real possibility that Garoppolo won’t be healthy this season. If that happens, what are the Raiders’ options at quarterback?

After mutually agreeing to part ways with Derek Carr, the Raiders shut him down ahead of the final two games of the 2022 season. They gave Jarrett Stidham a two-game audition, and he actually fared reasonably well.

In his first start in Week 17, Stidham threw for 365 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions against the 49ers. In Week 18, he threw for 219 yards, one touchdown, and one interception against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, the Raiders did not re-sign Stidham, allowing him to sign with the Denver Broncos.

MORE: Las Vegas Raiders Schedule 2023

Instead, the Raiders signed long-time New England Patriots backup quarterback, Brian Hoyer. Currently, Hoyer sits at No. 2 on the team’s depth chart. Behind him is rookie fourth-rounder Aidan O’Connell and rookie UDFA Chase Garbers. Suffice it to say the Raiders are in a world of trouble if Garoppolo can’t play.

The most obvious solution fans have come up with is Tom Brady. In light of his recent agreement to purchase a minority ownership stake in the Raiders, Brady is naturally being connected to the franchise on the field.

While the idea of Brady returning at age 46 and playing for his former offensive coordinator is alluring, as Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal informs us, Brady’s ownership status actually makes a return more complicated.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Brady’s agreement to own part of the Raiders remains in principle only. He still needs the transaction to be approved by the rest of the owners. Those owners could require the provision that Brady does not return to play. And if he does seek to return, he might have to sell his stake in the team, with approval from the owners again, before he can play.

Even if Brady were able to do all of that without a hitch, the Raiders would still need to officially sign Brady, which would not be cheap.

All of this is to say it is exceedingly unlikely we ever see Brady play football again, especially for the Raiders this season. If Garoppolo is unable to play, the Raiders have three realistic options.

First, they could stick with what they have. The Raiders have three other quarterbacks on the roster. They could roll with Hoyer and essentially tank the season or perhaps start the rookie O’Connell. It’s a similar move to what the Washington Commanders seem to be doing with 2022 fifth-round pick Sam Howell.

We already know what Hoyer is — the team is not going anywhere with him. And while Day 3 quarterbacks have a very low probability of success, perhaps O’Connell could surprise us?

Second, they could sign someone. Of course, there’s a reason all of the available free agent quarterbacks are unsigned. But if the Raiders are serious about competing this year, they cannot enter the season with Hoyer, O’Connell, and Garbers as their quarterback room.

MORE: Jimmy Garoppolo Injury Update

Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan remain unsigned. We also saw Teddy Bridgewater and Joe Flacco get into games last year. Cam Newton has expressed interest in reviving his career, as well. None of these options are ideal, but this is what’s out there.

Third, and perhaps the route they should try and take if they want to give 2023 a serious run, is to make a trade. After drafting Will Levis in the second round, the Titans could potentially move Ryan Tannehill. Perhaps the Steelers are fine with Mason Rudolph backing up Kenny Pickett and are willing to part with Mitch Trubisky. If Brock Purdy is fully healthy, maybe the 49ers part with Trey Lance?

Right now, everything is speculation. The most likely scenario remains that Garoppolo is able to pass a physical by August and is ready to go for Week 1. But if not, the Raiders may find themselves scrambling to secure a quarterback for the 2023 season.

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Ranking Brock Bowers, Ja’Tavion Sanders, and More




It’s been a little while since the NFL Draft has fielded a blue-chip tight end prospect. The 2024 NFL Draft TE group will have that, and more. Although it’s too early to say anything definitive about the incoming class, it’s a group that should have an appealing blend of top-end talent and depth for NFL teams to peruse.

Ranking the TEs in the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2023 NFL Draft TE group boasted Dalton Kincaid — a first-round pick for the Buffalo Bills — and Michael Mayer — a prospect deemed worthy of first-round capital by many evaluators. That alone helped the class’ perception, but there’s reason to believe the 2024 class might be even better. Here’s a look at some of the top names in the preseason conversation.

10) Brant Kuithe, Utah

It’ll be fascinating to see how Brant Kuithe’s stock is valued in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. He’s a good football player with built-in versatility, who’s been very productive at Utah. He earned 602 yards and six scores in 2019, and 611 yards and six more TDs in 2021. But coming off a torn ACL will be a challenge for him this season.

Kuithe will turn 25 years old at the tail end of his rookie campaign, which isn’t ideal, and his injury history may also work against him. But as a player, the 6’2″, 230-pound Kuithe has few weaknesses. He’s a free-flowing athlete, an independent separator, is sure-handed, and can operate from a barrage of different alignments.

9) Gavin Bartholomew, Pittsburgh

Gavin Bartholomew wasted no time producing. In 2021, catching passes from Kenny Pickett, he put up 28 receptions for 326 yards and four scores. Then, as a sophomore in 2022, he added 21 catches, 283 yards, and two more TDs to his career totals. The passing attack has regressed since Pickett’s departure, but Bartholomew remains a threat.

MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!

At 6’5″, 255 pounds, Bartholomew has NFL size, but he’s also a superb athlete in space. He went viral for a TD-securing hurdle against Tennessee early in 2022, but he also has the burst to break through open seams. Bartholomew’s a physical player after the catch, with the frame density and balance to stay upright. Add in his blocking, and he has great appeal.

8) Jalin Conyers, Arizona State

It’ll be interesting to see what Kenny Dillingham can do for the Arizona State football program. His ability as an offensive mind is well-documented, and he has a few high-quality weapons at his disposal, among them TE Jalin Conyers.

Now a redshirt junior, Conyers — a former four-star recruit — is coming off a career year and is poised to produce more. Conyers transferred to the Sun Devils’ program from Oklahoma and delivered on his potential with 38 receptions for 422 yards and five scores in 2022.

At 6’4″, 265 pounds, Conyers has one of the largest frames in this class. That translates to impressive play strength in contested situations, and physical extension ability after the catch.

7) McCallan Castles, Tennessee

After racking up 57 catches for 734 yards and six touchdowns over the past two seasons at UC Davis, McCallan Castles chose to transfer to Tennessee in 2023. The Volunteers won’t have prolific QB Hendon Hooker, but there’s a need for playmakers in Josh Heupel’s offense, and Castles’ natural receiving chops make him a prime breakout candidate.

Naturally, Castles has room to fill out his frame and improve his play strength as a blocker. But at 6’5″, 233 pounds, he’s an incredibly smooth athlete and receiving threat with flexibility as a route runner and slippery RAC utility. Especially in Tennessee’s offense, where he’ll be able to get in space and funnel in targets, he could rise up boards.

6) Terrance Ferguson, Oregon

There are several talented TE prospects hitting their first year of eligibility this cycle, and Oregon’s Terrance Ferguson is one of them. He was another pass catcher who benefited from Bo Nix’s breakout in 2022, hauling in 32 catches for 391 yards and five touchdowns in an emergent sophomore campaign.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

Ferguson often wins just by being bigger and stronger than his opponents. At 6’5″, 255 pounds, he’s sure-handed through contact, and his leg churn after the catch allows him to constantly stay on his feet and absorb hits. He has the RAC utility to be used on drag routes and quick outs, but he’s also a venerable seam threat with his traits.

5) Bryson Nesbit, North Carolina

Top TEs NFL Draft
Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Maye is an established presence at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft QB class at this point, but the 2023 campaign will present its challenges. Maye lost both Josh Downs and Antoine Green to the 2023 NFL Draft. But he’ll have one primary pass catcher returning in TE Bryson Nesbit, who also offers early-round upside with his traits.

Nesbit, who broke the 500-yard mark in 2022, does his best work up the seam and over the middle of the field. He’s more of a linear athlete at TE, but he’s an explosive long-strider at 6’5″, 230 pounds, who can instinctively flow into blind spots downfield, before converting at the catch point with his smooth body control and hand/eye coordination.

4) Seydou Traore, Transfer Portal

Seydou Traore re-entered the transfer portal shortly after Colorado’s spring football showcase. He’d originally transferred to Colorado from Arkansas State, so for the time being, his future is up in the air. But whoever gets Traore will be getting a very dynamic receiving talent, as evidenced by his 50 catches, 655 yards, and four scores in 2022.

Fun fact: Traore used to be a standout soccer goalie playing in London. But in the States, receiving tight end has grown to become his best role. At 6’4″, 223 pounds, Traore is a free-flowing move TE with a different brand of athleticism. His strides are quick in space, he can offset defenders with cuts, and he comes up big when tasked with winning 50-50 balls.

3) Jaheim Bell, Florida State

Versatility is becoming a common theme for TE prospects in the modern era of NFL football. The traditional in-line tight end molds are still valuable in their own way, but having a player who can fill unique roles and wear many different hats is becoming more and more coveted, especially for offensive coordinators looking to stay one step ahead.

Looking at things within that lens, Florida State’s Jaheim Bell has a lot to offer. He’s never been an elite producer, but at 6’3″, 232 pounds, Bell’s a hyper-dense RAC threat with a high-level blend of explosiveness and contact balance. And in an offense with Jordan Travis, Keon Coleman, and Johnny Wilson, the H-back hybrid could have his best year yet.

2) Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas

If the Texas offense in the summer of 2022 was the “dream team,” then this year’s Texas squad is the dream team 2.0. Bijan Robinson is a big loss, but on top of Quinn Ewers, the Longhorns have Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, Jordan Whittington, and Isaiah Neyor in the receiving corps, and they also have one of the nation’s best tight ends: Ja’Tavion Sanders.

MORE: Top Running Backs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Sanders quickly became a favorite target of Ewers’ across the 2022 campaign, amassing 54 catches for 613 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. At 6’4″, 249 pounds, Sanders offers great size and length, and he’s a very good blocker. But the brunt of his appeal comes from his fleet-footed athleticism, certifiably elite catching instincts, and reliable hands.

Who Is the Best TE in the 2024 NFL Draft?

There’s plenty of depth to be had in the 2024 NFL Draft, and that’ll help teams looking for ancillary threats in the middle and later rounds. But right now, there’s one prospect who stands all alone at the top of the TE group. Evaluators have had premonitions of Georgia’s Brock Bowers’ first-round-worthy report for two years now.

1) Brock Bowers, Georgia

It’s Brock Bowers, then everyone else. And while there’s always the chance someone else rises from the crowd, it’s relatively likely that Bowers will persist through the cycle as the consensus TE1 — similar to the way Florida’s Kyle Pitts did a few cycles earlier.

Bowers has dominated at the collegiate level since stepping on the field as a true freshman. Through two seasons, the Bulldogs star has 119 catches for 1,824 yards and 20 touchdowns. Forget needing time to ramp up — Bowers was that guy from the moment he set foot on campus.

Even with Stetson Bennett and Todd Monken gone, Bowers should continue to produce. He offers an elite skill set for the modern brand of football. Even before the season, he grades out as one of just a few blue-chip prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

At 6’4″, 230 pounds, Bowers doesn’t have elite size — but that’s one of the only knocks in his profile. He’s a functional route runner who best operates when he’s able to use his explosiveness to exploit seams. In that role, Bowers has extraordinary catching instincts, vice-grip hands, and brawling RAC ability, and he doubles as a game-changing blocker.

Things like alignment versatility, natural slot ability, and receiving value helped Kincaid become a first-round pick in the 2023 class. Bowers fits a similar mold, but he’s younger and has even greater tools at his disposal. It stands to reason that he could go off the board very early next April.

Honorable Mentions

  • Luke Lachey, Iowa
  • CJ Dippre, Alabama
  • Michael Trigg, Ole Miss
  • Kyle Morlock, Florida State
  • Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford
  • A.J. Barner, Michigan
  • Mason Fairchild, Kansas
  • Erick All, Iowa
  • Austin Stogner, Oklahoma

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Depth Charts, Rosters, and Predictions




The New Orleans Saints are favorites to win their division, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and the major decisions they’ve made to secure themselves ahead of their division rivals are a big part of it.

Still, the Saints may have gained only slightly more than they lost. They could be contenders for a favorable playoff position, but they could just as easily see the bottom fall out.

In a weak NFC South, the Saints are the only team that knows that they’ve made an upgrade at quarterback and have an opportunity to take the division. That said, it’s difficult to predict how they’ll do because there are so many unknowns on their roster.

Nevertheless, one imagines that their bold move to secure a quarterback and the hope for a healthier roster should mean an improved outcome. If Pete Carmichael really is the heir to Sean Payton as an offensive mind, and Dennis Allen and Joe Woods can keep the defense consistent, then they should have an inside track to the playoffs.

Saints Roster Changes

New Orleans Saints

The Saints experimented a bit at QB over the past two seasons but have functionally decided to end the Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston projects in favor of a proven veteran.

MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

There was some buzz about potentially pursuing Lamar Jackson or finding some means of trading up in the draft, but, ultimately, it was pretty clear that they wouldn’t explore either of those options seriously, given the nature of the free agency market. Derek Carr may not be their “quarterback of the future” in a long-term sense, but he will be their quarterback for now, and that might just be enough.

  • Players Signed/Claimed
    • QB Derek Carr
    • WR Bryan Edwards
    • RB Jamaal Williams
    • TE Foster Moreau
    • TE Miller Forristall
    • G Koda Martin
    • OT Storm Norton
    • DT Khalen Saunders
    • DT Nathan Shepherd
    • DT Malcolm Roach
    • LB Ryan Connelly
    • CB Troy Pride
    • CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
    • CB Ugo Amadi
    • S Jonathan Abram
    • K Alex Quevedo
  • Players Drafted
    • DT Bryan Bresee
    • ED Isaiah Foskey
    • RB Kendre Miller
    • OT Nick Saldiveri
    • QB Jake Haener
    • S Jordan Howden
    • WR A.T. Perry
  • Players Cut/Released
    • QB Lake Luton
    • RB Derrick Gore
    • WR Sy Barnett
    • CB Vincent Gray
  • Players Traded Away
  • Players With Expired Contracts
    • QB Andy Dalton
    • WR Jarvis Landry
    • WR Deonte Harty
    • WR Marquez Callaway
    • RB Mark Ingram
    • RB David Johnson
    • RB Dwayne Washington
    • TE Nick Vannett
    • OT Ethan Greenidge
    • DT David Onyemata
    • DT Shy Tuttle
    • DT Albert Huggins
    • ED Marcus Davenport
    • ED Kentavius Street
    • LB Kaden Elliss
    • LB Chase Hansen
    • CB P.J. Williams
    • CB Chris Harris Jr.
    • S Daniel Sorensen
    • S Justin Evans

The Saints didn’t make many active moves to get rid of players but nevertheless found a way to resurface their offense by allowing three receivers, a running back, and their starting quarterback from last year to walk.

Their confidence in 2022 rookies Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed allowed them to maintain their skill corps, but with a potential upcoming suspension for Alvin Kamara, they will have to rely on an unknown, rookie Kendre Miller, to take on a big role alongside free agent running back Jamaal Williams.

On defense, the entire front, aside from Cameron Jordan, is gone, as are rotational players in the back seven, including linebacker Kaden Ellis and cornerback P.J. Williams. They’ll have to hope for a healthier secondary in 2023 and immediate dividends from first and second-round picks Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey.

New Orleans Saints Coaching Staff in 2023

  • Head Coach: Dennis Allen
    • Assistant to the Head Coach: Mike Martinez
  • Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
    • Senior Offensive Assistant: Bob Bicknell
    • Pass Game/Quarterbacks: Ronald Curry
    • Running Backs: Joel Thomas
    • Wide Receivers: Kodi Burns
    • Offensive Line: Doug Marrone
    • Offensive Line Assistant: Kevin Carberry
    • Tight Ends: Clancy Barone
    • Offensive Assistant: Jahri Evans
    • Offensive Assistant: Kevin Petry
    • Offensive Assistant: Jordan Traylor
    • Offensive Assistant: D.J. Williams
  • Defensive Coordinator: Joe Woods
    • Senior Defensive Assistant: Peter Giunta
    • Linebackers: Michael Hodges
    • Pass Rush: Brian Young
    • Defensive Line: Todd Grantham
    • Secondary: Marcus Robertson
    • Defensive Assistant: Adam Gristick
    • Defensive Assistant: Sterling Moore
  • Special Teams Coordinator: Darren Rizzi
    • Assistant Special Teams: Phil Galiano

The Saints have had to change defensively as a result of Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard’s attention in the hiring cycle as potential head coaches. Neither ended up taking a head-coaching job, but Nielsen moved on from being a co-defensive coordinator with Richards to being the sole coordinator of the defense in Atlanta.

Richard and the Saints parted ways soon after Nielsen took the Falcons job after an apparent difference in the way they viewed personnel and defense — untenable for a coach that was considered for a role elevation to defensive coordinator, given how much control head coach Allen has over the defense.

Instead, they hired Joe Woods to be the defensive coordinator, added Todd Grantham to take on defensive line duties in Nielsen’s stead, and Marcus Robertson to take over the secondary after parting ways with Richard and assistant secondary coach Cory Robinson.

MORE: Best NFL Offenses | Best NFL Defenses

Both Dan Roushar and Zach Strief took offensive line coaching jobs, with Roushar becoming the offensive line coach at Tulane and Strief becoming the offensive line coach in Denver, leaving New Orleans in need of a tight ends coach and more offensive assistants.

They hired longtime tight ends coach Clancy Barone for that role and added a slew of offensive assistants, including a number of former players in the mold of Strief, like Jahri Evans.

Predicting the New Orleans Saints Depth Chart

  • QB: Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Jake Haener
  • WR: Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, AT Perry, Tre’Quan Smith, Bryan Edwards
  • RB: Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, Kendre Miller
  • FB: Adam Prentice
  • TE: Juwan Johnson, Foster Moreau, Taysom Hill
  • LT: Trevor Penning, James Hurst
  • LG: Andrus Peat, Calvin Throckmorton
  • C: Erik McCoy
  • RG: Cesar Ruiz
  • RT: Ryan Ramczyk, Nick Saldiveri, Storm Norton
  • EDGE: Cameron Jordan, Tanoh Kpassagnon
  • NT: Nathan Shepherd, Khalen Saunders
  • DT: Bryan Bresee, Malcolm Roach
  • EDGE: Isaiah Foskey, Carl Granderson, Payton Turner
  • MLB: Demario Davis, D’Marco Jackson
  • WLB: Pete Werner, Ryan Connelly
  • SLB: Zack Baun
  • RCB: Marshon Lattimore, Isaac Yiadom
  • LCB: Paulson Adebo, Troy Pride
  • NB: Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson
  • SS: Tyrann Mathieu, Jonathan Abram
  • FS: Marcus Maye, Jordan Howden

2022 Results and Standings

The Saints had uncertain expectations entering 2022, though they were expected to post an even record in the preseason, according to the August win totals at DraftKings. They mildly underperformed those expectations despite a top-10 defensive performance, with just a 7-10 record.

MORE: New Orleans Saints 2023 Schedule

A late-season rally after their bye week could have put them in the playoffs, but they needed losses from division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a win against the Carolina Panthers, coached by interim coach Steve Wilks and quarterbacked by a surprisingly efficient Sam Darnold. That Week 18 loss and the Buccaneers’ relative success kept them out despite the underwhelming division.

New Orleans’ Week 17 win against the Philadelphia Eagles and Week 5 win against the Seattle Seahawks showed that they could win against good teams, but they primarily built their record against a weak schedule, something they may benefit from again in 2023.

2023 Power Ranking and Season Outlook

Pro Football Network’s 2023 Power Rankings rank the Saints 14th overall in the NFL, which is roughly in line with their record and overall performance from an advanced stats perspective last year. There’s praise for a more well-rounded defense and optimism about the potential for a healthy Michael Thomas, who should pair well with Carr’s playstyle.

The offense will benefit from an upgrade at quarterback and could have an explosive ceiling if Thomas is healthy, given how well Olave takes the top off defenses.

Further development for Shaheed and a solid running game with Williams, Miller, and Kamara should give them a floor to work with, though they need to make sure that their offensive line can be consistent — that’s difficult with Trevor Penning, Andrus Peat, and Cesar Ruiz on the line.

Defensively, they will need their early-round investments to pay off immediately, given the losses on the defensive line. Though Marcus Davenport didn’t produce in the box score, his high pass-rush win rate forced opposing quarterbacks to get rid of the ball quicker.

He was one of the only defensive producers, and the Saints finished 2022 ranked last in pass-rush win rate as a unit, and their second-best pass-rush contributor, Onyemata, left for the Falcons. They may have gotten worse if they can’t rely on their rookies to contribute.

But a healthy Marcus Lattimore should mean more defensive production, even if Paulson Adebo is a liability opposite Lattimore. The defense performed very well last year, but a change in coordinator and turnover in personnel might be worth some concern.

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