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3 New Orleans Saints rookies make ESPN’s top 100 draft picks list

The New Orleans Saints had a solid 2023 NFL draft, depending on who you ask. ESPN analyst Matt Miller would agree with this sentiment. Miller recently made a list of the 100 best selections in this year’s draft andthree Saints rookie made an appearance on this list. Most interestingly, the only one of the three that was a top selection was running back Kendre Miller. Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and defensive end Isaiah Foskey were absent from the list. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The back half of the draft being highlighted should create optimism around the depth of this  class. If Bresee and Foskey can play up to, or close to, their draft position, the 2023 Saints draft class will be looked at fondly for years to come. 

Miller highlighted each of the three Saints players on his list:

Kendre Miller

“Alvin Kamara turns 28 this year and has an injury history, and the Saints have an out in his contract after the 2023 season. All that is to say that third-rounder Miller could very quickly become RB1 in New Orleans. The TCU standout has power, patience and excellent one-cut agility. On value, this was a reach. But on fit and potential need, it’s a very good pick.”

Miller, of the three New Orleans rookies on the list, is the player who is most likely to make a first year impact. With an Alvin Kamara suspension possibly on the way, Miller would have a prominent role sharing the backfield with Jamaal Williams. Suspension or not, a three man rotation in the backfield has been used before. The TCU rookie running back might start with a small workload but will have multiple opportunities to prove himself worthy of more time as the season unfolds.

A.T. Perry

“A 100-point value pick, Perry has fantastic size and the ability to come down with 50-50 balls as a 6-foot-4 receiver. That’s something the Saints haven’t had with Michael Thomas experiencing season-ending injuries the past two years. Chris Olave is the star here, but there’s room for Perry to work into the top four of the receiver depth chart.”

Perry is a tricky prospect to predict what he’ll do in 2023. He could be the fourth wide receiver or not even make the 53 man roster. The wide receiver room is full of potential this year. If he makes the team, he would be used sparingly. Perry could step into a bigger role if injuries arise. Multiple wide receivers are free agents after this season, so Perry’s biggest contribution likely comes in 2024 and beyond.

Jake Haener

“Derek Carr was signed this offseason to give the Saints stability at quarterback, but he should keep one eye over his shoulder at Haener. With touch, timing and anticipation being valued over size and arm strength in multiple NFL schemes these days, Haener is a player many scouts believe could become a potential Brock Purdy-like starter in time.”

In 2023, Haener likely won’t see a single snap. He enters as the third quarterback behind Derek Carr and Jameis Winston, so you aren’t hoping you see him unless it all hits the fan (see Ian Book week 15, 2021.) There is a chance he pushes Winston for the backup role with a great postseason. That would be his rookie ceiling.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire