With the start of the 2023 NFL season right around the corner, each of these players have the potential to perform great this year on the field, if they stay healthy. It will be exciting to see how they develop and impact the Saints this season to improve upon the 7-10 record from last year. So, let’s take a look at my top five New Orleans Saints players poised to have a breakout season in 2023.
Olave is a 6-foot-0, 187-pound receiver with good speed and route-running ability. In his rookie season with the Saints, Olave caught 72 passes for 1042 yards and 4 touchdowns. Olave is expected to be a key part of the Saints offense in the 2023 season. He will be paired with Michael Thomas to form one of the most dangerous receiving duos in the NFL.
After combating foot and ankle injuries, Michael Thomas is set to make a full comeback this 2023 season. At the height of his appearance in 2019, he led the league with 1,725 receiving yards while collecting 149 catches. With him being teamed up with rookie Chris Olave lined up opposite of him, Thomas will rack up the yardage and receptions. A foreshadowed future with Thomas and Carr will be the talk of the 2023 season.
Returning home to the Saints, TE, Jimmy Graham is excited to be back in the black and gold uniform. Graham spent four years as the Saints starting Tight End from 2010-2014. Graham was a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler who had 51 touchdowns during his seasons in New Orleans. He was later traded after what he says was confusion of the franchise tag status was blown out of proportion. After a few stints with other teams, he was ready to retire until the Saints made the call. Signed to a veteran minimum 1-year contract, Jimmy Graham has said he is in shape and ready to prove himself.
Winston restructured his deal with the Saints and will enter the 2023 season as newcomer Derek Carr’s backup. Winston appeared in only three games last season, struggling to four TDs and five INTs before suffering an injury and then losing starting duties to Andy Dalton. Just like Jimmy Graham, Winston has something to prove. He has to be ready to step up when the time comes to lead to team. Becoming an effective backup QB will be just as important role as any.
After agreeing to a new deal, quarterback Derek Carr will get a new start in New Orleans. The welcoming of Carr to the Saints was graciously expressed by fans. Last season with the Raiders, he finished with 3,522 passing yards,24 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions, a 60.8% completion percentage and an 86.3 passer rating. Dennis Allen and Carr worked together in 2014 until Allen was released four games into the 2014 season. Now reunited, this could be a comeback story style season for Carr.
Who do you think will have a breakout season? Let us know in the comments below.