Top 25 Saints of 2020: No. 24, Taysom Hill

John Hendrix

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.

The Countdown

Saints QB Taysom Hill
Dec 16, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs after a catch while defended by Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marvell Tell (39) in the third quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Comments (13)
No. 1-9
Mental Floss
Mental Floss

There is this view out there that Taysom may be versatile and an exceptional athlete but he is basically a third-stringer at each position; especially at QB.

Typical of this argument is this article's comment " There's also extra additions in the New Orleans offense like Emmanuel Sanders and Adam Trautman that could hinder Hill's production.

His role, impact, and skills have expanded dramatically every year. Despite being sidelined for 5 games when Drew was out, he still managed 7 TDs. Extrapolate that across 16 games and he would have 11+ TD's. Two more than the next most productive Saint. As a Reciever, he had the highest completion percentage; higher than even MT. How do you place a value on the plays that turn around games where the Saints are struggling or behind. The first, first down in a game on a fake punt deep in Saints territory. A blocked punt when the saints can't get anything going on offense. A 55-yard throw in a playoff game.

Speaking of that playoff game, Many analysts said he was the best player on the field that game.

The idea that he is a third-string gimmick do-it-all but master of none is not a very strong argument considering the evidence.

I can't read Payton's mind but if I was to bet my money, I would predict that instead of Emmanuel Sanders, Deonte Harris, and Adam Trautman reducing Taysom's playing time, he is needed to fully exploit the stretched field this expanded receiving corp brings to the 2020 Saints. For all his talent, Drew does not have a deep ball in his quiver anymore.

2 Replies

John Hendrix
John Hendrix

Editor

So let's assume he gets 50 touches this year, and maybe 10% of those change the course of the game. Are those 5 plays in the regular season going to spell the difference on anything? That's tough to say and then place a guy like Hill higher than regular starters.

I'm not denying how valuable he was in the playoffs. Again. We don't know how he's going to be used this season.

Mental Floss
Mental Floss

I don't know how to value a blocked punt or a fourth-down conversion but it seems that Taysom breaks a big play when the team needs it most. If he improves again at the same rate he has his first three seasons then there is no possible way hie is 24th. A similar team ranking has hin a 9th and I predict, even that will seem high by midseason. But NFL Prediction is an oxymoron.

BearRiver
BearRiver

Taysom, number 24 ( not). Taysom's importances in a game is visibly clear, along with the intangibles he can change the momentum and trajectory of a game in one play and even more with multiple electric plays. So I suggest that you rethink the number 24 ranking. I look forward to this season so all the questioning about Tayson comes to an end. Then we will all see what the coaches already know about taysom as as a quarterback.

Dr.C
Dr.C

Editor

John I am enjoying this series!

SamL
SamL

Taysom seems to bring a lot energy to the team and he keeps improving too.

JMcGuan
JMcGuan

Taysom Hill is an all around athlete! I love that he can play multiple positions. I think Sean Payton will be using him more this year.

Kyle T. Mosley
Kyle T. Mosley

Editor

Coach pulled a Pete Carroll and should've kept feeding Taysom the ball in the Vikes playoff loss. IJS

BtBoylan
BtBoylan

Editor

Hill could easily be the Saints "#3 WR" this year. He made a big jump last year and you want his versatility on the field as much as possible.

Dr.C
Dr.C

Editor

I really love Taysom Hill and his contributions to the team. I am anxious to see what happens post Drew Brees.

Bob Rose
Bob Rose

Editor

I really admired Taysom's progression as a receiver last year!


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