The New Orleans Saints were knocked out during Wild Card weekend. But this is a team that was one of the best during the regular season. One of the big reasons for the team’s success was players who took big steps forward during the season. Let’s break down the three players who improved the most during 2019.
Von Bell missed three games during the home stretch of the season because of a knee injury. But he still made big strides forward during the 2019 season. Last season Bell backed up Kurt Coleman, but this season he got a chance to prove himself and he blew away expectations. He played in 13 games and was able to force two fumbles and recover five others. Bell always seemed to be in the right position to get a takeaway.
He is set to be a free agent this offseason but the Saints need to do everything in their power to bring him back. He has proven to be a key part of the defense, and they can’t let him go.
Taysom Hill might not have actually improved that much in 2019. The team just trusted him to do more during the 2019 season and it led to great things. The Saints did give Hill more snaps under center. But he also was a weapon catching the ball along with his special teams play.
He actually had less rushing yards during the 2019 season, but he did better as a wideout. He was targeted 22 times catching 19 passes for 234 yards and six touchdowns.
It’s unclear what his role will be next year, but the Saints need to do everything in their power to bring him back. There could be an argument made he was one of the most valuable players for the Saints during the 2019 season.
Marcus Davenport only played 13 games during the 2019 season because of injury, but he took big strides forward. During his rookie year, he battled turf toe most of the year. Needless to say, it had a big impact on his play. He consistently was in the backfield putting pressure on the quarterback and finished the season with six sacks. The biggest knock on Davenport is still with his health. But if he can stay healthy, he is going to be a problem for opposing offensive lines going forward.
The good news for the Saints is he is locked up for a few more years so he can continue with his 2019 success.