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Year in Review: CB Alontae Taylor

He’s in the building for a long time to come.

Although the New Orleans Saints had a disappointing year last season, there were a handful of bright spots that showed reason for optimism in the future. Alontae Taylor’s rookie campaign was one of the brightest spots, which has Saints fans calling for him to start opposite of Lattimore. So, what led to the change of heart from Saints fans and what does Taylor have to improve on next year?
After missing a month due to injury, Alontae hit the ground running. HC Dennis Allen didn’t shy away from throwing Alontae to the Wolves, and Taylor answered.

Taylor ultimately played 663 defensive snaps across 13 games for New Orleans. He led the Saints in passes defended (11) this year, on top of accumulating 46 tackles. He dropped a few easy interceptions throughout the year and had a couple more called back due to bad officiating. He showed clear ball skills and range every week.
Per PFF, Alontae was targeted 64 times and allowed just 29 receptions for an average of 9.8 yards per catch. His longest completion allowed was just 20 yards, and he never yielded a touchdown catch in his coverage.

HC Dennis Allen: “He has a lot of confidence in himself, and we have a lot of confidence in him. He never panics when the ball is in the air. It is really good to see. He has been a welcome surprise, would be the word to say in terms of exactly what we have gotten out of him.”

With Adebo in a sophomore slump and Lattimore missing most of the season, Taylor was pretty much the saving grace of the secondary. He held it down while Mathieu and company took a while to find their form. Taylor was consistently competitive at the catch point and did a great job of staying away from penalties, considering his aggressive approach in coverage.

Taylor’s most glaring flaw during his rookie campaign was tackling in the open field. PFF charted him with 13 missed tackles, a miss rate of 23%. That’s almost an unplayable flaw so this is something Dennis Allen will undoubtedly focus on developing in the off-season. While he missed some tackles, that doesn’t deem him a liability. He’s not afraid to come down and hit.


Taylor competed every snap and performed himself into the rotation. He often shadowed the opposing team’s X receiver and never got exposed. Saints' fans are fully behind him and can’t wait to see how he elevates his game. A fair overall grade for Taylor’s rookie campaign should be a B+/A-. He exceeded expectations and now looks to form a scary duo alongside Lattimore.

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