The New Orleans Saints were the last team outside the playoff picture in the NFC in 2023. They fought all the way despite a shoulder injury plaguing Derek Carr all season long. Hopefully, better health for him and players all across the Saints' roster will lead to more success in 2024. What would also help is contributions from unheralded gems. A couple of players on their roster, like Kendre Miller and A.T. Perry, fit that bill for the Saints. New Orleans' offense would get a big lift if those guys step up this season.

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Bounce back season for Kendre Miller

This season should almost be regarded as Kendre Miller's rookie season. He entered the NFL with plenty of promise after a strong 2022 season at TCU. Miller ran for 1,399 yards that year along with a robust 6.2 yards per carry average. He also scored 17 touchdowns that year and caught 16 passes. For his career at Fort Worth, Miller averaged 6.67 yards per carry.

The Saints liked what they saw from Miller enough to draft him in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, he never really got a chance to showcase his talent. Miller got injured with a sprained MCL in the Horned Frogs' playoff game against the Michigan Wolverines and that injury lingered all the way into training camp.

From there, he suffered all sorts of different ailments. He pulled his hamstring and sprained both his shoulder and his ankle later on in the year. It was a completely lost season for the TCU rookie.

The only real chance Miller got to show what he's capable of was in Week 18 last season. After being inactive the previous seven games, New Orleans gave him 13 carries in their season finale. He turned those looks into 73 yards and a touchdown against their bitter rival Atlanta Falcons.

New Orleans did not get much production on the ground from their running backs last season. Alvin Kamara averaged 3.9 yards per carry last season and 3.8 true yards per carry according to Jamaal Williams was even worse. His average was 2.9 in both categories.

It isn't crazy to think Miller is the best running back on the Saints' roster in 2024. It'll be worth watching to see if he can take over the running back room this season.

AT Perry is ready for more

AT Perry looked the part of a sleeper in last year's NFL Draft. Perry is a big-bodied receiver who is excellent at snagging the ball out of the air. He can do some things after the catch too. That skillset led to Perry being ultra-productive at Wake Forest, where he racked up consecutive 1,000+ yard seasons to close his college career.

The NFL wanted to see more, apparently. Perry slid all the way to the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft before the Saints added him to their roster. He didn't play much at the beginning of the year, but he emerged as a big play threat at the end of the season. Perry had four receptions of at least 23 yards in that span.

He also became a nice weapon in the red zone. Perry scored four times in 2023 with all of those coming in that area of the field.

Perry has a chance to become more of a factor in 2024. Outside of Chris Olave, the Saints don't have a ton of surefire weapons in the passing game now that Michael Thomas is out of town. Rashid Shaheed is a good big-play threat but he is entering his first season as an expected every-down player. Cedrick Wilson Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, and rookie Bub Means round out New Orleans' depth chart at wide receiver.

Perry can carve out a legit role for the Saints in 2024. He can contribute big time for him if he does. Perry is definitely someone to keep an eye on before the 2024 season starts.