Saints Rookie Check-In: How Well Are They Performing So Far?

October 2, 2022

The Saints drafted six players in the 2022 NFL Draft while signing 17 Undrafted Free Agents. Going into Week Four of the season, let’s check in on our rookie class to see how they have performed so far.

Saints First Rounders

After trading up for the 11th overall pick, the Saints selected Ohio State Wide Receiver Chris Olave. Olave has been one of the very few highlights of the team’s offense. He has emerged as one of Jameis Winston’s favorite targets. Through three weeks, he has hauled in 17 receptions for 268 yards. Olave was recently named NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month. He has been dangerous over the top but has not been hit as many times as he should be. Excitement lies ahead for the former Buckeye as he will be a staple in this team’s offense.

With the 19th overall pick, New Orleans selected Trevor Penning, an Offensive Tackle out of Northern Iowa. Penning entered the draft as a raw talent, needing some fine-tuning. He was brought in to be the eventual heir to former OT, Terron Armstead. The former NIU Panther was not taking anything lightly in the offseason, gaining a lot more attention for engaging in three fights in as many days rather than his play on the field.

In his preseason outings, Penning excelled in the run game but struggled in the passing game. Unfortunately for Penning, a foot injury has sidelined him for most of the year, leaving a possible return by November at the earliest. With the current state of the offensive line, New Orleans is likely eager for their first-rounder to return.

Saints Second Rounders

With the 17th pick in the second round, the Saints selected Cornerback out of Tennessee, Alontae Taylor. In 19 snaps on the season, all of which came in Week Two, the former Vol charted a singular pass defended. Taylor will be competing for snaps with Bradley Roby and Paulson Adebo when he returns from Injury Reserve by at least Week Seven vs. the Raiders.

Saints

Saints Fifth Rounders

With the 161st overall pick, the Saints selected Linebacker D’Marco Jackson out of Appalachian State. The former Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year was moved to the Injury Reserve with an undisclosed injury in August. He will be out for the whole 2022-23 season.

Saints Sixth Rounders

With the 194th pick in the draft, the Saints selected Air Force Defensive Tackle, Jordan Jackson. The first military academy pick in the team’s history, Jackson was waived by New Orleans quite quickly. Two preseason tackles were not enough for the Jacksonville native to stay in the team’s already stacked defensive line room.

Saints Undrafted Free Agents (UDFA)

The Saints signed 17 Undrafted Free Agents, but only one made the team’s 53-man roster. The lone player: Lewis Kidd. The Guard out of Montana State was signed to the team’s initial 53-man roster on August 30th. He has not had any significant playing time so far.

The only rookie to make an impact so far is Chris Olave. With that being said, his impact has been nothing short of impressive. He has surprisingly been the best part of the team’s offensive attack. The first-round rookie is something Saints fans should be excited about.

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