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 for the 2020 season.
It’s easy to say 2019 Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, or even Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, here, but I’m going to go with Alvin Kamara. After dealing with nagging injuries all of 2019, he’s healthy and ready to go in 2020. Just look at these insane workout and training videos of Kamara this offseason:
It was clear Kamara struggled with his explosiveness and elusiveness last year. But after finishing with the 3rd-most broken tackles in 2019, that number could - and should - grow in 2020.
Most Improved Player
Kamara would make sense here too, but in the interest of not repeating myself let’s go with someone new.
Like Kamara, Saints offensive lineman Andrus Peat struggled with injury in 2019. The Saints front office clearly felt confident enough in what Peat could do when healthy, as they paid him $57.5 million dollars this offseason, with $33 million guaranteed over the course of five years. Healthy and ready to go, I’m looking for Peat to show that speed and strength that convinced the Saints to spend a first round draft pick on him in 2015.
Hoss of the Year
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 2020. 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.
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 and 2019 All-Pro, Ryan Ramczyk, who’s shown to be a beast in his own right.
Ryan Ramczyk was brilliant in week 1 vs. J.J. Watt, showing elite-level hand placement & variance in his strikes while mixing up his sets to keep Watt guessing & off-balance.— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 11, 2019
Also, a stud run-blocker that can create movement off the ball or work to the 3rd level pic.twitter.com/0MS85jChBE
Rookie Who Will Make the Biggest Impact
It’s not a splashy or sexy pick by any means, but I fully expect 2020 1st Round Pick Cesar Ruiz 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.
Michigan C/G Cesar Ruiz is legit. Don’t be surprised to hear his name called at some point during the first-round. pic.twitter.com/6RQPb3smH7— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 14, 2020
First NFC South Coach to be Fired
I doubt rookie coach Matt Rhule goes anywhere soon for the Carolina Panthers. Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn, on the other hand, is going to be under constant scrutiny again in 2020. If the Falcons struggle this season, 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 tight end Adam Trautman, who the Saints selected in the 3rd Round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Dayton.
The Saints don’t have many options at tight end other than Jared Cook (33 years old) and Josh Hill (30 years old). With Trautman, the Saints can inject a bit of youth into the tight end room, and if Cook or Hill miss time in 2020, expect Trautman to see time early and often on the offense.
NFC South Team That Won’t Meet Expectations
This one is too easy. It’s got to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s not because I think the Buccaneers are the worst team in the division - to the contrary, I think they’re one of the most talented teams on paper in the NFC. The issue is just that, with the addition of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the Buccaneers are expected to make a long and deep postseason run in 2020. Anything short of making the playoffs this year would be a disappointment for Brady and the Bucs, but the NFC South and the NFC as a whole are so deep I could see Tampa Bay failing to make the cut.
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 #3 wide receiver opposite Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, 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 2020 behind players like Deonte Harris, Ty Montgomery, Bennie Fowler, and others.
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 rematch against the San Francisco 49ers.
Most Valued Punter
Do you have your own predictions? Tell us in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisDunnells.