New Orleans Saints rookie assessment: CB Alontae Taylor

Alontae Taylor made a rapid and constructive impression on New Orleans Saints followers in 2022 regardless of having been one of many crew’s extra sudden picks in the course of the annual NFL draft. The previous Tennessee Volunteer was a brilliant spot when followers actually wanted it throughout their uneven “win one, lose two” sequence from Weeks 5 to fifteen and now he’s received fairly a crowd of supporters calling for him to begin over different established gamers in 2023.

So how did we get right here? And what does Taylor want to enhance upon so he can elbow his manner into the beginning lineup subsequent season? Let’s assessment his rookie marketing campaign and discover precisely what has followers so amped up:

Snap counts

We anticipated Taylor could be an enormous particular groups participant for the Saints after they drafted him, given how nicely he carried out in that section at Tennessee and the expertise stacked up on the depth chart. Bu the rapidly proved himself too helpful an asset on protection to play many reps within the kicking sport (he logged simply 84 snaps on particular groups). Taylor finally performed 663 defensive snaps throughout 13 video games for New Orleans, which is a fantastic complete for a rookie who missed most of a month with an harm.

Season stats

Wouldn’t it shock you to be taught Taylor led the Saints with 11 passes defensed final season? He additionally had a few interceptions worn out by penalties and sketchy officiating calls (what’s a catch, anyway?), however the backside line is that Taylor’s ball abilities had been on show all 12 months lengthy. The takeaways will come as he spends extra time on the sector. He additionally had 46 tackles (39 of them solo, 1 sort out for loss).

One space Taylor should clear up is his missed tackles. Pro Football Reference charged him with 8 misses, a miss charge of 14.8%; Pro Football Focus was much less charitable, hitting him with 13 missed tackles at a charge of 23.6%. Spectacular as he could also be in different methods defensively, they’ll’t afford to play him if he’s permitting large performs by whiffing on too many tackles.

Professional Soccer Focus grade

Taylor’s poor tackling grade at PFF (30.5) triggered his total defensive grade to plunge right down to 54.5, which is beneath common. These errors within the run sport particularly led to a low grade for that section (48.9). One space I’ll disagree closely with PFF on is Taylor’s protection grade (56.3).

Per their snap-by-snap charting, he was focused 64 occasions however allowed simply 29 receptions for a mean of 9.8 yards per catch, with the longest completion solely gaining 20 yards, and he by no means yielded a landing catch in his protection. PFF’s personal charting discovered that Taylor’s opponents transformed a primary down on solely 17 of these 29 receptions. How does that warrant such a low grade?

Season recap, future outlook

For essentially the most half, Taylor was actually spectacular. He didn’t wilt in opposition to established pass-catchers across the league like DeAndre Hopkins, Allen Robinson, and George Kittle even after they received one of the best of him. He was persistently aggressive on the catch level. He additionally wasn’t a lot of a penalty magnet, apart from a bizarre sequence in opposition to the Steelers by which he was fouled 3 times on one afternoon. He ought to be at the least competing with Paulson Adebo to begin reverse Marshon Lattimore within the fall, and if he can clear up these errors in his sport, he ought to be a straightforward option to run with the beginning unit.

Season grade

There’s loads to look again on positively for Taylor, particularly contemplating how skeptical the fanbase was when the Saints known as his identify on draft day. He competed onerous, carved out a task for himself, and now he’s constructed his personal following of supporters who’re excited to see what’s subsequent. If not for the problems with missed tackles he’s a straightforward A grade.

Grade: B

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire

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