Saturday, May 29, 2021

New Orleans Saints Post-Draft 2021 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the New Orleans Saints rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 15.2 (T-14th)
  • Best ranking: 10th (
  • Worst ranking: 19th (The Athletic)

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Saints in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Player who benefited most from draft: WR Tre'Quan Smith

Smith already had a big opportunity to emerge as New Orleans' No. 2 wide receiver this year after the Saints released veteran Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. But his role was further cemented when the Saints didn't draft a WR until Round 7. Smith has shown flashes of potential since being drafted in Round 3 in 2018 and provides extra value as a blocker. But he has never tallied more than 34 catches or 448 yards in a season and could use a breakout heading into the final year of his contract. -- Mike Triplett -- Rank: 10

We kept waiting for Sean Payton to pull a rabbit out of his hat and come out of this offseason with a blockbuster QB successor to Drew Brees … but no. It now appears all but certain that it will be Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill battling for the QB1 gig come training camp. It feels like a huge roll of the dice for a win-now organization, especially coming in an offseason where there were numerous free-agent, trade and draft options to reset the position. New Orleans used the first three picks of its draft class on defenders, but the 2021 season feels like it will ultimately come down to whether Payton was right to put his faith in his in-house options at QB.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 19

It's all about the quarterback position. It's Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill fighting for the job. The Saints fans better hope it's Winston who wins it.

USA Today -- Rank: 18

Friendly reminder that they're 8-1 over the past two seasons with now-retired Drew Brees out of the lineup. Case to be made this offense might even expand given QB Jameis Winston's ability to strike further reaches of the field ... though getting him one more weapon in the draft would have helped.

The Athletic -- Rank: 11

What's their formula for winning games in the post-Drew Brees era? The Saints quietly produced the NFL's second-best defense last season and will need a repeat performance to get back to the playoffs. Jameis Winston (and Taysom Hill?) will have a strong offensive line, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas to work with. But the Saints are thin at wide receiver and tight end. An injury-riddled season for Thomas, like we saw last year, would leave them with one of the NFL's worst pass-catching units.

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