PFF Analyst Believes New Orleans Saints Rookie Wide Receiver Was A Late-Round Sleeper In 2024 NFL Draft

It may not happen his rookie season, but fifth-round draft pick wideout Bub Means could have a major impact as he settles into the NFL in coming years.
Sep 1, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (15) runs after a catch against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 1, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers wide receiver Bub Means (15) runs after a catch against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 New Orleans Saints draft class has warranted a lot of praise since April. Landing their new starting tackle Taliese Fuaga in the first round, who now looks like he will protect quarterback Derek Carr's blindside, along with the additions of cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry and quarterback Spencer Rattler are often the focus of their highly-graded marks. All three players were considered excellent value picks for where the Saints selected them and they all have major upside.

While those big names get a lot of the attention, New Orleans also solidified their class with talented and versatile pieces in Day 3. Of those prospects, Pittsburgh wide receiver Bub Means, drew adulation from Pro Football Focus's Lead NFL Analyst Sam Monson while visiting the Locked On Saints podcast.

After being asked which prospects in the team's draft class could go on to have a bigger impact than expected, Monson highlighted Means's big play ability. "His average depth of target in Pittsburgh was like 17 or 18 yards downfield," Monson said. "It's not that that's a bad thing, but I do think it makes you a lot easier to defend... Despite that, Means still had really good, impressive plays in college."

Monson considers the limited route tree Means was given during his collegiate days to be something that should have also put a cap on his production. However, Means still put together an impressive final season putting up 721 receiving yards and 6 touchdown catches on 41 receptions. The insinuation here is that Means was able to make plays in situations where college wideouts might typically struggle. An expanded route tree in the NFL should only open his game up more.

Another big limiter to Means's numbers was poor quarterback play. "His quarterback was not a high-level guy," Monson said. "Some of the throws sent his way were not even vaguely accurate. And then you saw him at the combine. He ran well, really impressed. He showed some extremely high-level ahtleticism just in terms of measureables."

Pittsburgh wide receiver Bub Means (WO18) runs the 40-yard dash during the 2024 NFL Combine.
Mar 2, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Pittsburgh wide receiver Bub Means (WO18) during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Means ran an impressive 4.43 40-yard dash while also adding a 39.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-2 broad jump. He also tied for the position's best bench rep number with 19. Texas A&M's Ainias Smith took first place with 21.

The Pittsburgh alum returns to Louisiana after spending a pair of years with Louisiana Tech in 2020 and 2021. While his impact may not be immediate, he is sure to get a chance to see his role grow. That is exactly what happened with previous rookie wideouts like A.T. Perry last year, Rashid Shaheed during his rookie year and even Deonte Harty years before that. But where he wraps up his first NFL season should not be indicative of what his career trajectory will be. At least Monson believes that Means could have been a steal in this year's draft.

"As a Day 3 guy," Monson said. "He was one of the guys I had circled as a great sleeper prospect and somebody that could make an impact."


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Ross Jackson

ROSS JACKSON