The New Orleans traded all four of their Day 3 selections; 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks, to the Minnesota Vikings to move back into the 3rd round to draft tight end Adam Trautman from Dayton this spring. At 6’5” 255 lbs, Trautman showed excellent athleticism and route running ability to go along with his size during college and postseason workouts.
Without the benefit of team workouts or preseason games because of COVID-19 health concerns, Trautman would need extra time to learn the intricate New Orleans offense and the speed of the NFL. He would have the luxury of learning behind veteran tight ends Josh Hill and Pro Bowler Jared Cook, who was entering the last year of his contract.
Trautman is the subject of today's Year-in-Review spotlight.
Trautman saw limited offensive action during the first two games of his career, playing in only 15 combined snaps and catching one pass for 17 yards. He’d see his first extensive action of the year in a Week 3 home loss against Green Bay, playing 32 snaps, more than either Cook or Hill and catching 2 passes for 17 yards.
Trautman earned his first career start in Week 4 at Detroit and started to get more extensive playing time, but didn't have a catch over the next three contests. He had just six receptions for 73 yards in the first half of the year, including his first career touchdown in a Week 9 win at Tampa Bay. The receiving production may not have been high, but coaches praised the blocking skills of their rookie tight end.
That blocking ability earned him more playing time over the second half of the year. Trautman started five out of the last eight regular season games, with his snap count significantly higher than over the first half of the year. He was also more active as a receiver in those eight contests, catching ten passes for 101 yards.
The Saints traded four draft pick to select Trautman with an eye on the future. Jared Cook is an unrestricted free agent and will not be re-signed. Adam Trautman finished his rookie year with 15 receptions for 171 yards and a touchdown. He pulled in 93.8% of his targets and earned praise for his blocking ability.
His use as a receiver this season was mostly on short passes, where he showcased his open field running ability after the catch. After a full offseason to get more familiar with the playbook, he should have a much bigger role as a receiver in 2021.