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Who'll make Saints' 53-man roster? See some way-too-early guesses and positions to watch

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The good news for Sean Payton and his Saints coaching staff is that they still have about two months months to decide. The bad news is that trimming the roster to 53 players by the Aug. 31 deadline will be ...

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Old 07-10-2019, 07:49 AM   #1
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The good news for Sean Payton and his Saints coaching staff is that they still have about two months months to decide.

The bad news is that trimming the roster to 53 players by the Aug. 31 deadline will be just as difficult as it was a year ago.

In 2018, only four of the Saints' seven draft picks made the 53-man roster and only three of those four (Tre'Quan Smith, Marcus Davenport and Will Clapp) were still on the team when the season ended.

It was a good problem to have, showing the depth on the training camp roster. Many of the players the Saints let go were picked up by other teams along the way.


With minicamp having wrapped up last week, here's Rod Walker's way-too-early projection of just who might be on the 53-man roster when the preseason ends.



Quarterbacks (3)
ON THE PROJECTED 53: Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill

SIZING UP THE FIELD: Unless Brees calls it quits out of the blue, this will be the easiest decision the coaching staff has to make. A surefire Hall of Famer, a backup who has been a starter and a do-it-all weapon whom Payton loves to design new plays for. The Saints had three QBs on the roster last season, and that won't change this year. You can probably count on J.T. Barrett sticking around on the practice squad again.

Running backs (3)
ON THE 53: Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington

SIZING UP THE FIELD: Kamara and Murray are locks and will be the 1-2 punch instead of the Kamara-Mark Ingram duo we saw the past two seasons. Who'll be that third back? Washington showed his potential last season when he rushed for 108 yards in the regular-season finale against Carolina. It was the second-best rushing output of the season for the Saints, trailing Kamara's 134 yards in the win over the Giants. Washington also had three tackles on special teams and recovered Taysom Hill's blocked punt against the Buccaneers. So Washington gets the nod, although Buck Allen, rookie Devine Ozigbo or Matthew Dayes could challenge for a spot. The Saints carried three running backs last season.

Fullback (1)
ON THE 53: Zach Line

SIZING UP THE FIELD: Line averaged 4.3 yards per carry (16 rushes) over the past two seasons, but it's what he does without the ball that will keep him around. Kamara and Ingram love running behind Line, whom they believe is the best fullback in the game. Once the pads come on, veteran Michael Burton will get a chance to make his case.


Wide receivers (6)
ON THE 53: Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Tre'Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, Rishard Matthews, Cam Meredith

SIZING UP THE FIELD: OK, this is where it starts getting tricky. It's been well documented how much of the load Thomas carried last season. He was Brees' go-to guy. Ginn missed some games with a knee injury but was productive when he was around. Smith and Kirkwood both showed flashes of their potential as rookies, and receivers coach Curtis Johnson is expecting them to make the leap in Year 2. Meredith and Kirkwood didn't participate in most of the drills during minicamp because of injuries. In their absence, Simmie Cobbs stepped up and had some big plays that might make it hard to keep him off the roster. Matthews, a newly signed veteran entering his ninth season with a résumé that includes a 65-reception campaign in 2016, impressed during minicamp. Carr is probably the next man on the list. The wild card in the group is former LSU track start Cyril Grayson. The speedster had several big plays in both OTAs and minicamp and can obviously also help in the return game. He could be the sleeper, but we'll know more about him once the team is in pads.


Tight ends (3)
ON THE 53: Jared Cook, Josh Hill, Alize Mack

SIZING UP THE FIELD: Cook, acquired in free agency, is a lock and will help immensely with some of the aforementioned woes by the receiving corps. He's looked splendid in minicamp. Hill has been on the team since 2013 and excels in blocking. Mack, a rookie drafted out of Notre Dame, has shown great hands. He and Dan Arnold could battle for that third spot assuming the Saints keep three tight ends again.


Offensive line (9)
ON THE 53: Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk, Andrus Peat, Larry Warford, Erik McCoy, Nick Easton, Cameron Tom, Will Clapp, Marshall Newhouse

SIZING UP THE FIELD: Best guess is that the starters will be left tackle Armstead, left guard Peat, center McCoy, right guard Warford and right tackle Ramczyk. The versatility of Easton, Tom and Clapp should help keep them around. Don't count out Marshall Newhouse, who took several reps at left tackle with the first string during OTAs. But the Saints kept just eight offensive linemen when they trimmed the roster to 53 last season. If that number remains at eight, that last spot could come down to Clapp or Newhouse.

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Old 07-10-2019, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: Who'll make Saints' 53-man roster? See some way-too-early guesses and positions to watch

I don't believe Dwayne Washington is a sure thing @ #3 RB by any means.

JT Gray and rookie Saquan Hampton should be a good battle at the safety spot.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Who'll make Saints' 53-man roster? See some way-too-early guesses and positions to watch

Very few men are safe this year. There will be a lot of dog fights at training camp to see who gets to sit on the bench.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Who'll make Saints' 53-man roster? See some way-too-early guesses and positions to watch

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
I don't believe Dwayne Washington is a sure thing @ #3 RB by any means.

JT Gray and rookie Saquan Hampton should be a good battle at the safety spot.
Agreed. Washington never impressed me with the ones and the RB stack could only be better if Ingram had returned...

Ten (10) DBs historically has broken down to four (4) CBs, four (4) Ss, two (2) NB, with the reserves often playing significant time in the kicking game...

Lattimore, Apple, Marcus Williams, Bell, Robinson and, yes, PJ Williams are locks. Gardner, playing both S as well as NB, is nearly a lock; that's seven (7)...

Crawley has shown a high ceiling in the past, so I wouldn't write him off just yet if Coach AG can right his ship...

Don't agree Banjo's contract makes him a lock, especially if Hampton shows up with his terrific athleticism...

And Terrell Williams has some impressive quicks to go with his overwhelming size (6' 3"); and has some flash on film with the 49ers; that may get him some hard looks...

Gray is disciplined, smart, and is always in position even if his athleticism may not be elite...

This will be among the best competition of the position groups, including WR, in camp...
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