Alvin Kamara will be one of the most hyped up players to start the 2018 NFL season after an impressive rookie season with the New Orleans Saints in 2017. He will be set to take over the lead back duties with veteran running back Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games of the season. That will mean more touches and more opportunity to show just how good he is capable of being.
Last season with the Saints, Kamara showed off some of his potential. He ended up carrying the football 120 times for 728 yards and eight touchdowns, according to ESPN stats. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five touchdowns.
To say those numbers are impressive would be a major understatement. Kamara proved that he is already one of the most talented dual-threat running backs in the NFL. That should translate to even bigger numbers in 2018 with Ingram having to sit out to start the year.
While no one questions the talent that Kamara possesses, there are some that think he will have a rough second season. Kamara was an unknown commodity last season and many think that defenses will have better plans to slow him down in 2018.
An increase of touches will be likely for the young star. In the first four games of the year without Ingram on the field, Kamara will also be auditioning to keep the starting job. If he fares well without Ingram, the Saints could consider keeping him as the feature back and possibly even trading Ingram.
At just 23 years old, Kamara is ready to prove that he can be a 1,000-yard and 1,000-yard back. That would mean he rushes for 1,000 yards and racks up 1,000 yards through the air as a receiver. He nearly accomplished that feat as a rookie, which is extremely impressive.
Chasing Alvin Kamara: The NFL’s Reluctant Star— Master (@MasterTes) August 8, 2018
I spent a few days with the alluring Saints running back. Behind the walls of Pro Bowler destined for superstardom is Alvin, one of the realest people you’ll come across.https://t.co/KDF0RxhNsy pic.twitter.com/90GGQgom10
All of that being said, what three bold predictions can be made for Kamara heading into the 2018 season?
Kamara Rushes for 1,000 Yards, Has 1,000 Receiving Yards
Predicting Kamara’s numbers for the 2018 season is an intriguing task. Very rarely do second-year running backs have so much talent, but still have to compete with a veteran for carries.
It would be reasonable to expect around 220 carries for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Kamara should also end up with around 85-90 receptions for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.
New Orleans Keeps Kamara as Their Starter and Feature Back
Kamara was not the primary running back for the Saints last season, with Ingram being the starter and receiving a larger workload than the rookie. That is about to change in 2018. The 23-year-old running back will use the first four games of the season to prove that he is a capable workhorse back and will end up staying the feature back even when Ingram returns from suspension.
The Saints Win the NFC South and Kamara Is in the MVP Discussion
Finally, Kamara is going to put up numbers big enough to have his name included in the MVP conversation. Running and receiving for 1,000 yards and at least eight touchdowns will do the trick. Kamara having that kind of impact will also help lead the Saints to another NFC South division title.