Raise your hand if you picked Lewis Kidd as the lone undrafted free agent to make the New Orleans Saints’ opening-day roster in 2022. The former Montana State Bobcat played left tackle and right guard in college before flipping to right tackle during the Saints’ preseason games, though he primarily lined up at left guard in a couple of games during the regular season, also seeing a handful of snaps as an extra blocker.
Not bad for someone who only received $10,000 in guaranteed money when he signed with the Saints last summer. Should he factor into New Orleans’ plans for 2023? We’ll spend the days ahead recapping each of the Saints’ rookies, starting with the former undrafted free agents and working up to the top draft picks. Let’s start by reviewing Kidd’s rookie season in black and gold:
Kidd totaled 53 snaps on special teams with the field goal kick unit as a blocker, but his main contributions on offense across 78 snaps included reps at left guard (64), right guard (1), and left tackle (1) with the remaining 14 snaps played as an inline blocker out on the edge. Kidd was active for nine games but was a healthy scratch in eight other contests whenever the rest of the line was healthy.
Pro Football Focus charting found Kidd took 44 snaps in pass protection over the course of the season, allowing a sack in Week 11 versus the Los Angeles Rams (when playing spot-duty at left tackle) and two other pressures in Week 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers (which he started at left guard). Kidd wasn’t much of a factor as a run blocker, but his play is best summed up as him not embarrassing himself when forced into games. That’s all you can ask for out of someone in his position.
Pro Football Focus grade
PFF hit Kidd with a 29.6 overall grade, which is below replacement level. He graded out worst as a pass blocker (12.5) which makes sense given how many pressures he allowed on such a small sample size. His run blocking (41.0) was his best trait, though, and it helped balance things out slightly. Still, he didn’t grade out like someone you want playing heavy snaps.
Season recap, future outlook
Will Kidd be back on the team in 2023? He should benefit from a year of experience, and it makes plenty of sense for the Saints to hold onto him as an affordable backup. He probably shouldn’t be expected to push for a starting job, even if left guard Andrus Peat is let go as a salary cap casualty.
But you could do worse than to bring him back as competition for Calvin Throckmorton at the bottom of the depth chart. The top five or six roster spots are locked in along the offensive line, but the Saints usually retain eight players on the 53-man roster, so there’s opportunity for him here.
Look, expectations were not as high for Kidd as they were for highly-drafted rookies like Chris Olave and Trevor Penning. He also didn’t exactly put up a massive body of work in a reserve role. So we’ll give Kidd a passing grade and pat him on the back for not getting run over every time he got on the field. Let’s see if he can step up and become an asset in his second year with New Orleans.