Top 25 Saints of 2020: No. 19, Andrus Peat

Andrus Peat cashed in a on a lucrative contract from the Saints in March, and he now has a lot to live up to on the offensive line.
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The New Orleans Saints offensive line has been praised as one of the best units in the league, but they were exposed in a major way twice last season. The Week 10 home loss to the Falcons had many concerned, but the team bounced back in a big way to make it seem like it was just a blip on the radar. Entering the playoffs, the 13-3 Saints were heavily favored to make a deep postseason run, but ended up getting bounced in the Wild Card against the Vikings. That blip ended up being disaster for Sean Payton's club, and left us all wondering what could have been.

Today's countdown focuses on one of the key cogs in the offensive line for the upcoming season, and as always, we recap the list thus far.

The Countdown

Andrus Peat, free agent guard

No. 19 - Andrus Peat

Things weren't the best for Peat in 2019, as he appeared and started in 10 games for the Saints offense. Peat did end up getting into his second Pro Bowl, however. He allowed three sacks on 575 offensive snaps, and did improve his Pro Football Focus grade from 2018 from 39.8 to 49.1 (72nd out of 83). This was all played out on a fifth-year option that came to just under $10 million. For comparison, Larry Warford, who was let go by the team, came in at 8th overall with a 75.8 grade.

Peat's Outlook in 2020

Many were shocked to see the Saints shell out a 5-year, $57 million deal for Peat that included $33 million guaranteed money in late March. His versatility and able to play in space is something that's coveted, but he has a lot of critics to silence in 2020. Offensive line coach Dan Roushar discussed recently some of the things Peat has to do to improve his game.

"Well, I still think we're striving for a lot more consistency as he is," Roushar said. 

"I think we've seen great improvement in his work ethic, there's clearly a competitiveness and a toughness that we've learned to appreciate about him, and yet he would share with you and I would share with you that, like all of us, we're still looking for more. He's a tremendous team player. He's worked through some significant injuries in each of the last few years and so you've appreciated his ability to make as quick of a recovery as he possibly can to come back and try to help the team win. He's a very smart player."

Roushar added how well-liked Peat is by his peers, and that he's an outstanding person that the Saints want to see continue to grow as a football player. With the supporting cast around him on the offensive line, the Saints need Peat at his absolute best.