The New Orleans Saints have an interesting season ahead in 2023-2024 with a new quarterback at the helm. They are seen as the favorites to win the weak NFC South and have a great chance to make the playoffs in head coach Dennis Allen’s second season with the team.
The Saints were somewhat competitive even while losing Jameis Winston early and rolling with Andy Dalton for the remainder of the season. It resulted in a 7-10 record that became a three-way tie with the Falcons and Panthers for 2nd place in the NFC South.
The Saints were very limited offensively after losing veterans Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, and Jarvis Landry for an extended time. Fortunately, it opened the door for Chris Olave to have a breakout campaign in his rookie season. Alvin Kamara looked to have lost a step but showed that he could still carry a heavy workload in the backfield.
Defensively the Saints were outstanding, finishing top five in yards allowed per game. Their pass defense was elite, led by star defensive backs Tyron Mathieu and Marshon Lattimore.
With the 2023-2024 Saints making improvements on the offensive side of the ball and retaining most of their defense, could they be the new kings of the NCF South?
QB Derek Carr
Derek Carr signed a four-year $150 million deal with the Saints following a solid nine-year career with the Raiders. Carr is a four-time Pro Bowler but is viewed as a pretty average QB. After showing great potential in his early years, he regressed to a middle-of-the-road option who was never good enough to carry the Raiders far but could always keep them competitive. Carr’s best ability has been availability, only missing four games in his entire career.
The Saints seem to view him as more than a bridge QB by locking him up long-term, and it may be a smart choice. While divisional rivals are still developing their rookie QBs, the Saints will have an experienced veteran in 2023-2024 looking to take control of a wide open NFC South.
RB Jamaal Williams
Jamal Williams signed a three-year, $12 million deal after having a monster season with Detroit. Williams exploded for 17 rushing touchdowns last year, which was more than he had scored in his entire career combined. He’ll have a busy workload behind Alvin Kamara.
DL Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd
Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd will be the new nose tackles in Atlanta following the departures of Shy Tuttle and David Onyemata.
- DL Bryan Bresee (Round 1, Pick 29, Clemson)
- Edge Isaiah Foskey (Round 2, Pick 40, Notre Dame)
- RB Kendre Miller (Round 3, Pick 71, TCU)
- OT Nick Saldiveri (Round 4, Pick 103, Old Dominion)
- QB Jake Haener (Round 4, Pick 127, Fresno State)
- S Jorden Howden (Round 5, Pick 146, Minnesota)
- WR A.T. Perry(Round 6, Pick 195, Wake Forest)
Edge Marcus Davenport
Marcus Davenport signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Vikings following a five-year career in New Orleans. Last season, Davenport was underwhelming in a contract year, failing to even record a sack.
DL Shy Tuttle and David Onyemata
Shy Tuttle is off to division rival Carolina after a productive four years in New Orleans. Tuttle became a starter in 2021. Onyemata is also headed to division rival Atlanta. The 30-year-old defensive tackle had five sacks and 11 QB hits in 17 starts last year.
LB Kaden Ellis
Kaden Ellis signed a three-year, $21.5 million deal with Atlanta. Ellis burst onto the scene last season, recording 10 QB hits and seven sacks in 11 starts.
- Head Coach: Dennis Allen
- Assistant to the Head Coach: Mike Martinez
- Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
- Senior Offensive Assistant: Bob Bicknell
- Pass Game/Quarterbacks: Ronald Curry
- Running Backs: Joel Thomas
- Wide Receivers: Kodi Burns
- Offensive Line: Doug Marrone
- Offensive Line Assistant: Kevin Carberry
- Tight Ends: Clancy Barone
- Offensive Assistant: Jahri Evans
- Offensive Assistant: Kevin Petry
- Offensive Assistant: Jordan Traylor
- Offensive Assistant: D.J. Williams
- Defensive Coordinator: Joe Woods
- Senior Defensive Assistant: Peter Giunta
- Linebackers: Michael Hodges
- Pass Rush: Brian Young
- Defensive Line: Todd Grantham
- Secondary: Marcus Robertson
- Defensive Assistant: Adam Gristick
- Defensive Assistant: Sterling Moore
- Special Teams Coordinator: Darren Rizzi
- Assistant Special Teams: Phil Galiano
Projected Depth Chart
QB: Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Jake Haener
WR: Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, AT Perry, Tre’Quan Smith, Bryan Edwards
RB: Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, Kendre Miller
FB: Adam Prentice
TE: Juwan Johnson, Foster Moreau, Taysom Hill
LT: Trevor Penning, James Hurst
LG: Andrus Peat, Calvin Throckmorton
C: Erik McCoy
RG: Cesar Ruiz
RT: Ryan Ramczyk, Nick Saldiveri, Storm Norton
EDGE: Cameron Jordan, Tanoh Kpassagnon
NT: Nathan Shepherd, Khalen Saunders
DT: Bryan Bresee, Malcolm Roach
EDGE: Isaiah Foskey, Carl Granderson, Payton Turner
MLB: Demario Davis, D’Marco Jackson
WLB: Pete Werner, Ryan Connelly
SLB: Zack Baun
RCB: Marshon Lattimore, Isaac Yiadom
LCB: Paulson Adebo, Troy Pride
NB: Bradley Roby, Lonnie Johnson
SS: Tyrann Mathieu, Jonathan Abram
FS: Marcus Maye, Jordan Howden
The Saints have a lot of potential in the 2023-2024 season with their new pieces on offense. I love what they did with their defensive line in the draft by getting Brian Bresee and Isaiah Foskey. I also think they got one of the steals of the draft with A.T. Perry in Round 6, who probably should have been selected three rounds earlier.
The Saints seem to view Carr as more than just a bridge QB by locking him up long-term, and it may be a smart choice. While divisional rivals are developing their rookie QBs, they will have an experienced veteran ready to make noise in a new division.
If their defense can stay in the top ten, I predict the Saints to win the NFC South with a 10-7 record.
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