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Which Saints players will take the biggest leap in 2023?

These young players can become future stars for the Saints.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Rashid Shaheed

NFL: JAN 01 Saints at Eagles Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rashid Shaheed came out of nowhere in 2022. Shaheed recorded 545 total yards and three scores, Including two electric touchdowns on his first career touches. With the addition of quarterback Derek Carr and the return of Michael Thomas from injury, the former UDFA has the chance to take a bigger step in 2023.

Shaheed brings the explosive play ability that the New Orleans Saints have been desperately looking for. Last season the young speedster recorded touchdowns of 44, 53, and 68 yards.

Thomas’ return from injury will open the opportunity for Shaheed’s deep-threat ability to become more of a problem for the opposing defenses. Add Rookie of The Year candidate Chris Olave to the mix, and the Saints receiving corps can all produce big numbers in 2023.

Juwan Johnson

New Orleans Saints v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Juwan Johnson, also a former UDFA, already had a breakout season in 2022. Johnson ended the season with 508 receiving yards and a team-leading seven receiving touchdowns.

It’s no secret new quarterback Derek Carr loves his tight ends. Carr and his former teammate Darren Waller were one of the league's best quarterback and tight end duos accumulating over 3,000 yards in the last 4 seasons together. Carr can look to gain that connection with Johnson.

The Saints traded former third-round pick Adam Trautman to Denver during this year's draft, essentially solidifying Johnson as the team's TE1 going forward. With Johnson’s already impressive development receiving the ball and Derek Carr’s history with tight ends, the 26-year-old tight end can become a superstar in 2023.

Alontae Taylor

New Orleans Saints v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

During the Raiders game last season, Alontae Taylor showed flashes of his true potential. Taylor locked up one of the league’s top receivers in Davante Adams. Taylor took 20 coverage snaps against Adams not allowing a single reception.

Starting cornerback Lattimore went down in week 5 against the Seahawks forcing Taylor to take over CB1 duties. Although it wasn’t all great, Taylor showed his ability to succeed against the league's top receivers. Lattimore’s return allows Taylor to develop more and not have to play the best receiver on every team. If the young cornerback can work on his tackling, he can become a star opposite side of Lattimore.

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