Analyzing Kendre Miller’s rookie year and room for improvement

Running back Kendre Miller was drafted in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He was expected to make an immediate impact, but unfortunately, the injury bug was hungry for fresh blood.

Miller missed nine games due to injury in 2023. He entered the season rehabbing a right knee injury. After playing his first career game on Sept. 24 against the Green Bay Packers, he played the next six weeks before sustaining another injury – this time to his ankle.

He returned for the final game of the 2023 season against the Atlanta Falcons. This game, though seventeen weeks later than expected, was the Kendre Miller fans were waiting for. He ran for 73 yards on 13 carries and earned his first career touchdown.

In total, Miller finished 2023 with 156 yards on 41 carries and one touchdown. He also had 117 receiving yards on ten receptions.

Miller clearly had a turbulent rookie year. Battling multiple leg injuries and learning in an offense with a new quarterback and sub-par offensive coordinator is not the formula for an explosive rookie year.

But that does not mean we did not see the potential in Kendre Miller.

His performance in the Atlanta game was something else. His speed and agility were the highlight of an offense that accounted for 48 points that day. If he can build upon that performance in 2024, Miller surely has a place in this running back room.

Speaking of the running back room, its unstable future leaves room for a young back like Miller to cement his role. After a suboptimal season from Jamaal Williams and questions surrounding the long-term intentions of Alvin Kamara, perhaps Miller is the next man up.

But before “next man up” conversations ensue, he must prove his health and consistent running ability in 2024. Perhaps with new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, both Kamara and Miller can exist in harmony while revitalizing a rather stagnant New Orleans run game.

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