With the 2022 season less than three months away, it’s time to take a look at the roster.
More importantly, let’s look at five pieces on the roster that appear to be underrated.
C.J. Gardner-Johnson, DB
This is more of a national society thing, but you can definitely consider CJGJ underrated.
Gardner-Johnson is one of the best nickel corners in the league, playing great defense in the secondary and flying to the football.
In his three years with the New Orleans Saints, he has 161 tackles, 5 interceptions, 28 passes defended, and 3 sacks.
“Ceedy Deuce” is still a very young talent in this league, which means he still hasn’t hit his prime or ceiling. Think about that for a second.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE
After spending the first four years of his career in Kansas City, Kpassagnon came to New Orleans in 2021 and has made an immediate impact. His 4 sacks in 2021 were huge as a fill-in for the injured Marcus Davenport or even a sub for Cameron Jordan. Kpassagnon has a Super Bowl under his belt, which already provides a veteran aspect both to his game and in the locker room. Year 2 will see a bigger role and impact for Kpassagnon in New Orleans.
Wil Lutz, K
This guy is the biggest secret weapon that the Saints have.
This may be a hot take, but Lutz might be the most important kicker to a team since Justin Tucker and Adam Vinatieri.
Lutz missed all of 2021 with a core muscle injury that required two surgeries but comes into 2022 with an 86.6% FG percentage, only missing four FGs from inside 40 yards in his career.
Look for Lutz to have a huge bounce back in 2022 for the Saints.
Jameis Winston, QB
“Famous Jameis” may be the story of the year.
The former #1 pick and Rookie of the Year has been written off since his 2nd and 3rd year in the league. Add in the fact that he led the league in interceptions in 2019 and he was put on the street.
Now, he found a home in New Orleans, learning from Drew Brees and Sean Payton. Once Brees retired, it was time to eat W’s.
However, injury struck in Week 7 last year, as Winston tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.
But now, “The Lasik Laser” is back, healthy, and ready to prove that he’s the right guy for this team. Winston signed a 2-year, $28 million contract extension this offseason to be the guy for Dennis Allen in 2022.
Pete Werner, LB
Werner had a very successful rookie year in 2021, with 62 tackles in only 8 starts.
The Ohio State product is looking to step up and make a bigger impact in his sophomore campaign with guys like Kwon Alexander no longer being on the team.
The Saints only taking a linebacker late in the draft shows that the organization has faith in Werner to step up and fill in the gaps. But if you ask me, he’s going to do a lot more than just fill those spots. Look for Werner to be one of the top young defensive players in the league.