Top 25 Saints of 2020: No. 10, Emmanuel Sanders

Emmanuel Sanders will give the Saints something they haven't had in years, and it should pay off big for their offense.
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It's a gross understatement to say that the NFL season can't get here soon enough. We're seeing more sports on television now, which is a good sign. However, we have a long ways to go to get back to 'normal'. If you haven't got into playoff hockey before, now is as good a time as any to follow the NHL

The New Orleans Saints are primed for a big season, but it will come as no shock that they will have their work cut out for them. They're certainly one of the favorites, but their mature team mindset should help them filter out the 'noise' and focus on delivering one week at a time. We're getting into the Top 10 portion of the 2020 Saints players, and this is where the journey has taken us up until now.

The Countdown

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No. 10 - Emmanuel Sanders

Emmanuel Sanders entered his sixth season with the Broncos in 2019, but never got through it. Things started poorly for Denver last season, and Sanders tried navigating the "world of suck" early in the year, but it just wasn't the same. Right before the NFL trade deadline, a host of suitors were contacting the Broncos about various players, and Sanders was a hot commodity. The Saints were reportedly one of those teams, but ultimately the 49ers won the sweepstakes.

Sanders made an instant impact with San Francisco, and was a key piece in them getting to the Super Bowl. He'd finish out as Pro Football Focus' 22nd overall wide receiver, posting 66 catches on 97 targets for 869 yards and 5 touchdowns. In the Week 14 shootout against the Saints, he torched New Orleans for 157 yards and a score on 7 catches, while also throwing a 35-yard touchdown. It was a memorable performance that left some wondering what could have been for New Orleans.

Sanders' Outlook in 2020

Emmanuel Sanders gives the Saints a legitimate No. 2 receiving threat opposite of Michael Thomas, something that has arguably been missed since 2016 when Brandin Cooks was in the picture. The work started with Drew Brees back in June when the two were in Colorado. Brees said he made it a point to personally fly out there to specifically work with Sanders.

Sanders hasn't had a 1,000-yard season since 2016 when he was with the Broncos, but looks to be a good candidate for a strong year. The Saints are looking more to that and the Steelers version of Sanders for production. Thus far, Curtis Johnson and Ronald Curry have been doing a great job explaining the offense to Sanders.

"I think that the schedule that the Saints have set up to get me acclimated with it as well has been good," Sanders said on Friday

"We've been having walkthroughs in the afternoon, which has been really good to get that timing down, even though it's not full speed to even run through those routes. Then in the morning, the following day, Drew (Brees) will come in and sit in the meetings and tell us what he's thinking and the whole nine yards so it's been really good. It's coming along. I'm trying to work in two positions so hopefully the more I know and the more positions that I can play the better that I can perform. I'm trying to grasp the entire thing."

Sanders has a chance to be great with the Saints, and should make an impact from Day 1. He turned down the Packers and Cowboys for this opportunity, and the next two years watching him in the offense will be exciting.