Five Players From Louisiana Who Will Have a Huge Impact in the NFL Playoffs
The 2022 NFL playoffs are all set as we get ready to watch six matchups in this weekend’s super wild card round. Even though the Saints didn’t make the playoff for the second year in a row, it’s still fun for fans to cheer on their favorite player or guys they just enjoy watching. If you need a little help in deciding whom you should cheer for this playoff season, how about a Louisiana native? The NFL is full of active players who were born and raised in the state of Louisiana. Here are my top five players from Louisiana who will have a big impact in the NFL playoffs.
5. Dak Prescott
Dak was born and raised in Sulphur, Louisiana where he would attend Haughton High as a standout quarterback. Dak would eventually become a heavily recruited prospect and would decide to play his collegiate career at Mississippi State. He would lead the Bulldogs to an Orange Bowl title before getting drafted by the Cowboys in the fourth round.
Dak has been a key reason why this Cowboy squad has made the playoffs three out of the past five seasons. After missing multiple games with a thumb injury, Dak led his team to a 12-5 record as he threw for just under 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Cowboys will face the Tampa Bay Bucs this weekend who beat them 19-3 in week one. The Cowboys are at their best when Dak is playing his best ball. So if Dallas wants to end the stigma of choking in playoffs, Dak is going to have to play big.
4. Travis Etienne
Travis was born and raised in Jennings, Louisiana where he would attend and play high school football for Jennings High. The star running back received many division offers by then of his high school career, but he decided to take his talents to Clemson. He played a pivotal role in the team’s success and even became a national champion. He was drafted in the first round as the 25th overall pick by Jaguars in 2021.
Like the Jaguars, Travis has quietly had an impressive season. After missing his entire rookie with an injury, Travis has rushed for 1,225 yards with 5 touchdowns. The second-year running back is going to be crucial if his team is going to have success. The Jaguars are playing the Chargers this weekend who have some scary pass rushers with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa on the edge. Travis can ease slow the rush and provide more time for his quarterback, Trevor Lawerence, by having an effective day on the ground.
3. Ja’Marr Chase
Chase was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana where he would attend and play for Arch Bishop Rummel High School. Chase was a highly recruited receiving prospect before becoming a star at LSU. Chase became a part of a legendary trio with Joe Burrow and Justin Jefferson, who secured a 2019 national championship for the Tigers. He was drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the 2021 draft.
Chase missed multiple games this season due to injury but still managed to rack up just over 1,000 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns. Chase is no doubt Burrow’s favorite target and has a history of playing big in the playoffs. Chase was huge in getting the Bengals to Super Bowl last season as he posted 100-plus yards receiving in three of his four playoff games. With the game on the line, Burrow always has his trust in his favorite target, look for Chase to heat up.
2. DeVonta Smith
Smith was born and raised in Amite, Louisiana where he attended and stared at Amite Hight. He became a coveted high school prospect and would eventually take his talents to Alabama. At Bama, he would win two national championships and a Heisman trophy in 2020. He was the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL draft by the Eagles.
Smith has been a part of a dynamic receiving duo that also features AJ Brown. With Brown getting a lot of looks from defenders, Smith was able to accumulate 1,200 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns this season. Defenses are going to want to take Brown away by doubling him which should leave Smith in a lot of one-on-one situations. Look for Smith to be targeted early and often.
1. Justin Jefferson
Jefferson was born in Saint Rose, Louisiana where he attended Destrehan High where he wasn’t highly recruited. The two-star athlete would take his talents to LSU where he became part of a deadly receiving duo that featured him and Ja’Marr Chase. He would win a national championship in 2019 with the Tigers and become the 22nd pick in the NFL draft by the Vikings.
Jefferson has had a monster year leading the league in receptions and yards. He racked up over 1,800 receiving yards with 8 touchdowns. Without question, he has been the Viking’s best player and a big reason why they find themselves with a 13-4 record. With Kirk Cousins having a bad reputation for being able to handle the big games, look to rely on Jefferson to keep him calm.