This past season, the New Orleans Saints found themselves a possible gem in undrafted free agent rookie Rashid Shaheed. Spending all of the offseason and most of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL that he sustained at the collegiate level, many of us didn’t know what Shaheed’s capabilities were.
Including the Saints...
Shaheed spent the beginning of the season on the practice squad and likely would have stayed there if it weren’t for long term injuries at the receiver and returner positions. Shaheed ended up getting his shot against the Cincinnati Bengals in week five where he immediately burst onto the scene taking a jet sweep 44 yards for a touchdown on his first ever NFL touch. Shaheed followed that with a 53-yard touchdown the very next week against the Arizona Cardinals on what would be only his second touch in the NFL.
Talk about making a first impression…
Shaheed would continue to be the team’s explosive playmaker as the season went on with gains of 35, 40, 68 and 58 within the last six games of the season. In total, Shaheed caught 28 of his targets for 488 yards and three total touchdowns. He also supplied some juice as a returner as well.
Shaheed made the very most of his opportunities.
Looking into next season, we should expect Shaheed to become a much bigger part of the offense as we just received a small sample size of what he could do. He and Olave give the team some hope going into the future as two young pieces to build around. Shaheed’s production next season should also be impacted by who the Saints bring in at quarterback. A player like Derek Carr could help unleash more of Shaheed’s deep threat ability as he is known for having one of the bigger arms in the game. We will see if the Saints can close the deal in the next couple days. Tying a great quarterback to the player along with implementing more of him into the offense, should result in a statistical explosion next season.
Watch out for Shaheed in 2023.