The New Orleans Saints might have found another diamond in the rough with Rashid Shaheed. They have a history of landing talented receivers as undrafted college free agents like Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty, and Shaheed is quickly building his case to join them. He’s already playing more snaps than both of them and many other receivers on the team, but what’s most impressive is what he’s doing when given a shot.
Shaheed converted a first down on all three of his touches against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday. He caught a 35-yard reception on 2nd-and-6, followed by an 18-yard pickup on 3rd-and-3. And he also took a carry off the left end for a 6-yard gain on 2nd-and-5. He’s touched the ball 10 times on offense and either converted a first down or scored a touchdown on 8 of them.
He deserves more targets for all the routes he’s running. Shaheed logged the third-most snaps on offense at wide receiver both against San Francisco (30, behind Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry) and versus the Los Angeles Rams (28, tied with Olave and behind Landry at 32) the last two weeks. He’s more than a gadget player. That he can also help provide a spark in the return game is lagniappe.
So good on him. There aren’t many NFL players coming out of Weber State (just four of them made the cut for opening-day rosters around the league). The 24-year old rookie had to overcome ACL surgery earlier this year and missed out on opportunities ahead of the 2022 draft because of it, meaning he wasn’t able to work out in front of teams or go through athletic testing like the 40-yard dash. It’s obviously too early to put a stamp on it, but it’s beginning to look like he wound up in the perfect spot with the Saints. Let’s see what they can do with him over these last five games.