We are re-hashing a successful piece from the past two years. The original piece listed a bunch of “Can’t Miss Predictions” for the 2017 season across the NFL, and you should definitely take a look - if only to see our lovely friends from The Falcoholic call Drew Brees the most overrated player in the NFL...
But it’s a new year, and it’s time for new predictions. So here are my “Can’t Miss Predictions” that will surely miss.
It’s easy to say Alvin Kamra, or even Drew Brees, here, but I’m going to go with “Can’t Guard Mike” Thomas. Michael Thomas is the Saints wide receiving corps in 2019, with only names like Ted Ginn Jr., Keith Kirkwood, and Tre’Quan Smith to round out the lot. Thomas had his best year yet in 2018, finishing with 1,405 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns, with an inside 85% (!!!) catch rate.
.@Saints @Cantguardmike is an accurate twitter handle. Monster numbers are coming. #BaldyBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/XqALUC5VSW— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) September 11, 2018
Keep in mind, Thomas’s 2018 numbers came with the expected #2 receiver, Ted Ginn, missing over 10 games due to injury and the Saints getting absolutely nothing out of their tight ends. Now the Saints have Jared Cook to help draw attention from opposing defenses, so expect things just to open up even more for Thomas in the passing game.
Not that he needed the help.
Most Improved Player
Let’s go with 2017 draft pick S Marcus Williams.
Marcus Williams had a heck of a rookie season in 2017, only to end up the butt of memes across the NFL for his role in the Minnesota Miracle. Williams was expected, and predicted by many, to rebound in a big way in 2018, but his level of play seemed largely inconsistent. Hopefully, with a full season under his belt after the missed tackle on Stefon Diggs, Marcus can finally show up to his Pro Bowl-caliber potential.
Marcus Williams strips Matt Ryan and the #Saints recover!#ATLvsNO pic.twitter.com/ltl1NFlmxy— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 23, 2018
Hoss of the Year
2It’s not a bold prediction by any means, but I expect Cam Jordan to lead the team in sacks and tackles for loss again in 2018. With extra help on the defensive line on the other side, notably from It’s not much a “bold prediction” by any means, but I expect Cam Jordan to lead the Saints in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits again in 2019. With consistent help on the other side from 2018 1st Rounder Marcus Davenport, I’m not quite sure I expect Cam to replicate his success from the days when he partnered with Junior Galette, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see a monster year from Cam.
Cam Jordan is held and STILL comes up with the strip sack! #Saints ball!#NOvsDAL pic.twitter.com/p5p1KuolbM— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 30, 2018
Most Disrespectful Blocker of the Year
It’s easy to say Terron Armstead, and that’s where my heart was initially tugging, but the man just can’t seem to say healthy. Instead, let’s go with young gun, Ryan Ramczyk, who’s shown to be a beast in his own right.
Ryan Ramczyk is such a beast. Sends Peppers flying prior to his release, then takes the center's man off his hands (lol) and creates an alley for Kamara: pic.twitter.com/qJmPH3E1wc— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) December 20, 2018
Rookie Who Will Make the Biggest Impact
It’s not a splashy or sexy pick by any means, but I fully expect 2019 2nd Round Pick Erik McCoy to be the full-time starting center by at least Week 3, if not Week 1. No one really notices an offensive lineman, especially a center, if they’re doing their jobs correctly, so here’s to hoping he’s not showing up too often on the highlight real for opposing teams.
Erik McCoy has insane power. Chips the DT and then pancakes the LB to set up an open hole for the running back.— AllSaintsConsidered.com (@AllSaintsBlog) May 19, 2019
Now imagine that much space with Alvin Kamara. pic.twitter.com/VmxrJCaVqV
First NFC South Coach to be Fired
I think this is a pick-’em between Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera and Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn. If the Carolina Panthers struggle in 2019, I could see there being excuses (like Cam Newton’s shoulder perhaps?) to keep Rivera around another year. If the Atlanta Falcons fall short of expectations again, and especially if they struggle on offense, I could see Quinn getting an early boot.
Dak Prescott Rookie Who Came Out of Nowhere Award
Let’s go with a defensive rookie, this time, Chauncey Garnder-Johnson, who the Saints selected in the 4th Round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Even with the return of a healthy Patrick Robinson, I could see CGJ getting time as a slot corner, or even taking snaps at safety to replace the snaps from Kurt Coleman, who was cut early in the offseason.
NFC South Team That Won’t Meet Expectations
Let’s stick with my theme from “which coach gets the axe first” answer and say the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons’ Faithful expect a return to dominance in 2019 with a healthy defense, but I’m not buying the vast improvements on the offensive line that rookies Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary are supposed to bring. Cam Jordan should still eat.
Most Overrated Player
This one is tough.
I’ve toyed with the idea of naming several different players here, but couldn’t really come up with one I felt comfortable with.
Let’s go with WR Tre’Quan Smith.
There are a lot of Saints fans already penciling in Tre’Quan as the Saints #2 wide receiver opposite Michael Thomas, and it very well could happen, but it’s also possible despite spending a third round pick on him in 2018, Tre’Quan is just a bench piece in 2019 behind players like Ted Ginn Jr., Cameron Meredith, Keith Kirkwood, and Emmanuel Butler.
Which Saints Player Will be Fined First for Celebrating?
Gone are the days of the Jimmy Graham dunk and the Lance Moore dance. Even Brandin Cooks and his bow and arrows are no more. The Saints will probably end up getting some stupid “taunting” call thrown their way when a young player gets too fired up. I’ll say Michael Thomas gets a little too chippy in their Week 2 rematch against the Los Angeles Rams.