Saints Position Grade: Tight End

The Saints tight end group was a bit underwhelming on an offense that shined overall in 2020.
Author:
Publish date:

The 2020 NFL season is officially in the books, and now the attention turns to the offseason. For the Saints, there's a ton of things to sort out. Football won't return for over six months, which leaves a void behind for many. We keep looking at the position grades for the team, and focus on the tight ends for today. Here's how the group fared last season on the stat sheet.

Saints 2020 TE Stats - Receiving

PlayerTargetsReceptionsYardsYards/RecLongTDs

Jared Cook

60

37

504

13.6

46

7

Adam Trautman

16

15

171

11.4

41

1

Josh Hill

10

8

46

5.8

16

1

Wherever you want to plug Taysom Hill into this equation, he finished with 8 catches for 98 yards and a score on 12 targets in 2020. Adam Trautman graded out as Pro Football Focus' 9th overall tight end with a 76.8 grade from his 450 snaps, while Jared Cook was 24th (69.3 grade) and Josh Hill was 41st (62.3 grade). For perspective, it was out of 71 total tight ends from across all 32 teams.

There were some moments that the tight end group was strong, but overall Jared Cook was a pretty big disappointment in relation to his first season with New Orleans, and there's no way the Saints absorb his $8 million roster bonus going into the new league year. Yes, he had a good bit of scores, but it just appeared that he wasn't on the same page with quarterbacks more often than not. He also had some really bad drops, and most notably his fumble against the Bucs completely shifted momentum in the Divisional Round. 

Final Grade: C-

Perhaps Adam Trautman is primed for a bigger role going forward, but this is an area the team has to get better in going into next season. Garrett Griffin was a player who was able to get plugged in when the team needed him throughout the season, and Josh Hill isn't necessarily someone who shines on the stat sheet, but did see a steep decline in production year over year. Cook could return if the team can work around the price tag, but the veteran will be expected to perform better overall, no matter where he ends up.