We can only hope that the New Orleans Saints are able to play football this season. COVID-19 has made its impact felt around the world for months, and we're inching closer and closer to the start of the NFL season with uncertainty as to what will ultimately happen. We started a series on Wednesday that focuses on the most important players for the black and gold in 2020, and continue on with today's player spotlight.
No. 24 - Taysom Hill
Taysom Hill is important to the Saints, which is probably a tremendous understatement. The team's Swiss Army knife has brought about some extremely exciting moments in his three seasons with New Orleans. Whether it's a kick return, run, pass, catch, or special teams tackle or block, Hill has done it.
What was Hill's 2019 like? He appeared in all 16 games for New Orleans for starters, carrying the ball a total of 27 times for 156 yards (5.8 average) with one rushing touchdown. He caught 19 balls for 234 yards and six receiving touchdowns. The six scores (Texans, Bears, Cardinals, Falcons, Colts, Panthers) ranked him third on the team in that department. He also deflected a punt, had a lone kick return, and had two coverage stops.
Thanksgiving was special for Hill, as he became the first NFL quarterback since Jim McMahon (1983) to run for and catch a touchdown in the same game. His performance against the Falcons also made him the 16th Saints player to record a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game.
Hill's postseason performance against the Vikings also set a NFL milestone, as he became the first player in playoff history to log at least 50 passing yards, at least 50 rushing rushing yards, and at least 25 receiving yards in a single game. He also became the first player not named Drew Brees to complete a pass for the Saints in the playoffs since Aaron Brooks (Jan. 6, 2001).
Hill's Outlook in 2020
The reason Hill isn't ranked a little higher than others stems from this: We aren't sure what his role will look like in 2020. Sure, there's been chatter on the surface that the Saints with Hill in the offense could look more like what they did against the Vikings. However, that remains to be seen. It doesn't sound like he'll be used in special teams as much, specifically in punt coverage. There's also extra additions in the New Orleans offense like Emmanuel Sanders and Adam Trautman that could hinder Hill's production.
It's hard to imagine Sean Payton not drawing up some plays for Hill this season. He's sure to come through in some clutch situations, but will he have more than 46 touches this season? It's certainly a gamble, and there's just more important players we have to look at on our list.