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What You Need to Know:
-Trautman (6’5, 255) posted huge numbers from 2018-2019 at Dayton: 111 catches, 1,520 yards and 23 TDs.
-At the Combine, he posted a sub-par 4.80-second 40 time. But he showed strong agility with a 6.78 3-cone and a 4.27 20-yard shuttle.
-The Saints traded up to select Trautman in Round 3 (105th overall).
-In year 1, he played 36% of the snaps — behind Jared Cook (43%) and ahead of Josh Hill (33%). Both 2020 teammates will play elsewhere this season.
-He brought versatility with 29% of his snaps coming out of the slot; 17% coming out wide.
-As a rookie, he caught 15 of only 16 targets for 171 yards and 1 score — no surprise given the depth chart and the jump in competition.
-Trautman received Pro Football Focus’ best run blocking grade among TEs. If the Saints came away with a similar assessment, Trautman could play a 3-down role this fall.
-TE Nick Vannett signed in the offseason. The 28-year-old journeyman will be a long-shot to steal substantial work from Trautman.
-Jameis Winston will battle Taysom Hill for the starting job in training camp. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport believes Winston is the favorite entering the summer, and we project Winston to land the Week 1 job.
-Winston would be a wild card under center after not playing in 2020. But his aggressive tendencies figure to help Trautman see targets.
-The Saints lost 152 targets with the departures of Jared Cook, Josh Hill and Emmanuel Sanders. With the team still thin at WR, Trautman could push for 80+ targets if he develops quickly.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
We know the Saints are high on Trautman after trading up for him in Round 3 of the 2020 draft. His quiet rookie year was explainable, and even then, he showed enough for the squad to essentially hand him a full-time role.
Boasting plus size and adequate athleticism, the main question is whether the small school product is ready for a year 2 jump. With an ADP near the tail end of most drafts, though, he’s an ideal TE2 stash.