New Orleans Saints May Scouting Report
The Saints did what they needed to do after losing a bunch of quality defenders in free agency, but their draft didn’t do much to change the 2021 Fantasy Football outlook for the franchise. They made a couple picks that has the potential to change the long-term outlook for a couple positions, but they didn’t make any big splashes in the draft.
The Saints selected QB Ian Book from Notre Dame in the 4th round of the 2021 draft. He had a very productive college career, and while he doesn’t project to be a great NFL quarterback, he has the opportunity to develop behind QB Jameis Winston and QB Taysom Hill for the time being. He won’t play any snaps in 2021, but he’s an interesting player to keep an eye on in the future with QB Drew Brees out of the picture in New Orleans.
The running back room stayed the same after the draft. RB Alvin Kamara is still one of the premier options at the position, and RB Latavius Murray is one of the best handcuffs in all of fantasy football. Expect the status quo from this running back room in 2021.
I expected the Saints to try and secure one of the top wide receiver prospects in the draft class, but they decided to focus more on the defensive side of the ball with their first three picks. This shows that they have at least some confidence in WR Trequan Smith and the other receivers already on the roster. They did select WR Kawaan Baker from South Alabama in the 7th round, but he will just be fighting to secure a roster spot. WR Michael Thomas still projects to be the dominant target leader in this offense after the draft.
The Saints didn’t make any changes to the tight end room, and I still expect 2nd year TE Adam Trautman to emerge as the starting tight end and one of the most reliable targets in this offense. TE Nick Vannett will play a role in the offense, but look for Trautman to be a popular stash in dynasty leagues.
The Saints put almost all of their draft capital into reloading their defense. They lost multiple high-caliber players in free agency, and they restocked in all three levels of the defense. In the first round they selected DE Payton Turner from the University of Houston. Turner projects to be a very powerful edge rusher who should be able to generate some pressure as a rookie. In the second round they selected LB Pete Werner from Ohio State University. Werner was a productive player in college, and he should be able to help fortify the interior of this defense. In the third round they selected CB Paulson Adebo from Stanford University. Adebo generated a lot of interest as a prospect a couple years ago, but after a rough season in 2019 he decided to stay for another season. He has a lot of natural traits, and if he can develop his footwork and coverage abilities, he can become one of the household names on this defense. Overall, the defense got stronger at all three levels, and they should be a consistent and reliable streaming option for fantasy managers.
The Saint’s fantasy outlook for 2021wasn’t impacted very much by the 2021 NFL Draft, but they did some good things to solidify their defense. They did add a young quarterback to develop behind Winston and Hill, but they didn’t make any other skill position moves of any importance. As training camp approaches, all eyes will be on the current quarterbacks to see who wins the battle. The outcome of the approaching position battle will affect the 2021 outlook for both Kamara and Thomas.
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