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A look back at “can’t miss” preseason award predictions

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How did I do?

Wild Card Round - Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

For the third year in a row, I made “can’t miss” predictions leading into the 2019 regular season, including breakout rookie, most improved player, and team MVP. Let’s take a look at how I did:

MVP

My prediction? Michael Thomas

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.

Verdict? Great call.

Do-over? Still Michael Thomas.

Most Improved Player

My prediction? Marcus Williams. Oof.

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.

Verdict? A Marcus Williams-level missed tackle.

Do over? Likely Demario Davis.

Hoss of the Year

My prediction? Cam Jordan

It’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.

Verdict? Solid, but too easy.

Do over? Still Cam.

Most Disrespectful Blocker

My prediction? Ryan Ramczyk

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.

Verdict? Good call.

Do over? Nope.

Rookie Who Will Make the Biggest Impact

My prediction? Erik McCoy

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.

Verdict? Good call, but safe.

Do over? Naw.

First NFC South Coach to be Fired

My prediction? Dan Quinn

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.

Verdict? Good I said it was a toss-up, but I came down on the wrong side.

Do over? Ron Rivera.

Dak Prescott Rookie Who Came Out of Nowhere Award

My prediction? CJ Gardner-Johnson

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.

Verdict? A+.

Do over? Nope. CJGJ all the way.

NFC South Team That Won’t Meet Expectations

My prediction? 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.

Verdict? Hahahahahaha.

Do over? Stick it, Falcons.

Most Overrated Player

My prediction? 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.

Verdict? Tre’Quan was definitely a letdown in 2019, but there are too many other players, including some mentioned in the above paragraph, that were bigger letdowns.

Do over? This one’s tough, but I’ll go with Pro Bowler Andrus Peat.

Most Valued Punter

Thomas Morstead, duh.

Still nailed it.