Sean Payton must decide who gets the final rose for the ‘Returner’

Posted by | August 6, 2018 .

Sean Payton has decided to bring in the ‘bachelor’ mentality to this years’ training camp. Perhaps, it was a little over the top to make that comparison. Regardless, the opening for punt returns and kickoffs is wide open.

The question remains who will win his heart? He says there’s a dozen contestants involved. But in reality, there’s probably seven players that have a legitimate shot of getting that final rose.

Ironically, the finale of “The Bachelorette” runs tonight on Monday on ABC at 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT. One man shall remain after tonight’s episode. Plenty of guys have tried to woo the “The Bachelorette” with all kinds of wild antics. One wore a chicken costume and another brought in a gospel choir. Currently, there are two men left. Unfortunately, for Sean Payton’s version of the “Bachelor” the show has just started.

Still Searching For The One

After looking for the right man the last few years, the frustration is starting to build. Ted Ginn Jr. and Tommy Lee Lewis tried to cement their stamp on solidifying the return man spot. However, neither has impressed for the whole year. Alvin Kamara looks great, but does Who Dat Nation want the Offensive Rookie of the Year running back punts or kicks?

That idea seems too risky. Above all, the results have been disappointing, frustrating, and irrelevant. The punt returner especially has been missing the “wow” moment that’s caught the eye of Sean Payton. With only a few weeks till opening day someone needs to impress and stand out. Up until now, no one has accomplished the feat. So here is my secret list of the finalists:

 

Brandon Tate

Tommylee Lewis

Boston Scott

Alvin Kamara

Trey Edmunds

Shane Vereen

Natrell Jamerson

First Cut to Five

Trey Edmunds 23

Hometown: Danville, VA

Occupation: Running Back

Edmunds had three kickoff returns for 65 yards with a 21.7 average for kickoff returns. Edmunds has breat vision and burst. He’s also been a huge contributor on special teams. Odds are long since there’s plenty of new blood coming in. Edmunds was a surprise last year when his name made the 53-man roster. He could be a dark horse but don’t bet on it.

Shane Vereen 29

Hometown: Santa Clara, CA

Occupation: Running Back

Vereen comes from the New York Giants as a kickoff return specialist. He returned nine kickoffs for 196 yards in 2017 with a 21.8 yard average. He comes in as the second oldest eligible participant here. Vereen is a tough runner with patience. Not quite as fast as some of the other guys. Age is no doubt a factor for this specialty. Surely, Vereen has to be the longest of the odds. Nevertheless, he’s in the race.

The Next Three Cut

Any one of these could be standing with that final rose come opening day. That being said, there just something missing from these three guys.

Alvin Kamara 23

Hometown: Norcross, GA

Occupation: Running Back (Offensive Rookie of the Year 2017)

There is simply nothing wrong with Alvin Kamara. That’s the problem. He’s simply too good for Sean Payton to be thrust into special teams. The Saints have a star that will be running in the black and gold for years to come. Don’t do it Sean! Kamara is going to be tempting but it’s too risky.

Natrell Jamerson

Hometown: Ocala, FL

Occupation: Safety/Cornerback

Jamerson is one of the rookies vying for the returner. Jamerson was drafted in the fifth round out of Wisconsin in 2018. He actually started off playing on the offense at first as a wide receiver before going over to defense. This guy can fly with 4.4 speed and some big plays in college as a returner.

Jamerson has the tools and heads up mentality to make plays. He was the defensive MVP in the 2018 East-West Shrine game with a 68 yard run after a fumble recovery. Also, he had an interception for a touchdown last season and a kickoff return for a touchdown in 2015. Very interesting prospect that’s a virtual unknown as of today. Watch out for this guy. He could have a legitimate shot of making the final two in an upset.

Tommylee Lewis 25

Hometown: Palm Beach, FL

Occupation: Wide Receiver

Personally, my favorite player to make it as the big play maker before the 2017 season started. He’s had over 21 kickoff returns for 459 yards with a 21.9 yard average over his career. Punt returns has been respectable with a 9.8 average per return. Lewis has flashed some speed and returns for sure.

Unfortunately, there were no touchdowns in his two years as a returner. He’s really close to making a claim to be the full-time returner. That being said, he’s not the new face anymore. Now it’s time to produce consistent results when a play is needed. No doubt, he’s one of the favorites. Just not quite pretty enough to make the final two.

The Final Rose

There can be only one. The choice is either Brandon Tate or Boston Scott. 

Boston Scott 23

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA

Occupation: Running Back

Boston Scott is Louisiana born. Of course, he’s already a fan favorite. Drafted out of Louisiana Tech in round six in 2018, Scott looks to take over the return job immediately. Boston has incredible speed and stands only at 5-foot-7. He can easily get lost in the shuffle behind taller lineman. Boston can cut like a knife and make tacklers miss at will. If he hits the open field no one can catch him. With this in mind, he could be the answer Sean Payton has been looking for.

Brandon Tate 30

Hometown: Burlington, NC

Occupation: Wide Receiver

Brandon Tate is the eldest of all the eligible players for the returner job. Tate comes with a hefty resume. Tate broke the record that stood for over 30 years in combined return yards in NCAA history back in 2008. He combined for 3,523 yards in his career at North Carolina. Also, he had a 24.7 average per kickoff return on 109 kickoffs and a 10.6 average in punt returns. In addition, Tate scored six total touchdowns in college on returns. Also, he’s had three returns in the NFL for touchdowns.

His average has slid slightly last year. Still, Tate has an amazing 23.8 kickoff return average on 247 kickoff returns. On punts, he’s returned 200 times for 1,909 yards for a 9.5 yard average. Clearly, Tate has everything versus all the others. As long as his stamina is up, there’s no problem in deciding on who gets the returner job.

WINNER: BRANDON TATE