Aug 23, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Luke McCown (7) scrambles with the ball during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Projecting the New Orleans Saints Final Roster

If we’ve learned anything with the first round of roster cuts, it’s that no one’s job is safe. Trimming a roster from 90 to 75 players seems like a pretty easy job, but when you suddenly have to go from 75 to 53, it becomes increasingly difficult. Sure, the first 10 to 15 cuts might seem fairly easy, but when you get down to those last few decisions, it’s sure to keep you up at night.

The New Orleans Saints have a very talented roster, arguably one of the best in the league. We can agree on at least 40 players for the 2014 New Orleans Saints roster, but when you get down to the final 13-15 spots, we are likely to have a difference of opinion.

Here’s my 2014 projected 53-man roster for the black and gold. 

Quarterbacks (2)

Drew Brees
Ryan Griffin

Thoughts: Although veteran Luke McCown has done what has been asked of him and then some, there’s little doubt in what Ryan Griffin brings to the team. Carrying two quarterbacks makes a lot of sense this season, and is needed to make way for other spots on the team.

Running Backs (4)

Pierre Thomas
Mark Ingram
Khiry Robinson
Travaris Cadet

Thoughts: Not having Darren Sproles makes it easier for me to think we’re going to only have four running backs this season. The position is stacked, and you should feel great about the Saints’ backfield. 

Fullback (1)

Austin Johnson

Thoughts: We know nothing of Erik Lorig’s status heading into Week One of the regular season, so we can assume that we won’t have Lorig for a while. The good news is that Johnson has been a more than adequate player in the New Orleans Saints’ backfield. Johnson should edge out veteran Greg Jones.

Wide Receiver (6)

Marques Colston
Kenny Stills
Brandin Cooks
Joe Morgan
Robert Meachem
Nick Toon

Thoughts: I’m giving Nick Toon the benefit of the doubt here, but I could also see the Saints carrying five wide receivers this season. Even with the team potentially carrying this many wide receivers, I’d only expect five to dress out on Sundays. 

Tight End (3)

Jimmy Graham
Ben Watson
Josh Hill

Thoughts: There’s little shock here. This is a very talented group of tight ends. Hill adds versatility as a potential backup to fullback Austin Johnson.

Offensive Line (8)

Jahri Evans
Ben Grubbs
Jonathan Goodwin
Zach Strief
Terron Armstead
Tim Lelito
Bryce Harris
Senio Kelemete

Thoughts: This is a very difficult decision here, because it leaves tackle Marcel Jones as the odd man out. Remember that Lelito and Harris have versatility, and Kelemete has easily been someone who can fill in at the guard position. I like the development of Jones, but assuming the health of the Saints offensive line is intact, then I give the roster spot to the defense.

Defensive Line (6)

Cam Jordan
Akiem Hicks
John Jenkins
Brodrick Bunkley
Glenn Foster
Brandon Deaderick

Thoughts: I hate to see Tyrunn Walker out of the picture, but with Brandon Deaderick playing so well, and his added abilities as not only a nose tackle, but also a defensive end, I like him to crack the final 53. I don’t see Glenn Foster going anywhere.

Linebackers (8)

Curtis Lofton
David Hawthorne
Junior Galette
Parys Haralson
Kyle Knox
Ramon Humber
Keyunta Dawson
Ronald Powell

Thoughts: Knox and Dawson add value as special teams guys, which helps their case tremendously. Ronald Powell has done plenty enough to warrant a final roster spot in my eyes. Fortt’s injury is a cause for concern, and he would be the odd man out, but a potential practice squad candidate. It’s worth pointing out that Dawson could be edged out by Kasim Edebali or Todd Davis.

Secondary (11)

Champ Bailey
Kenny Vaccaro
Jairus Byrd
Keenan Lewis
Rafael Bush
Corey White
Patrick Robinson
Vinnie Sunseri
Pierre Warren
Stanley Jean-Baptiste
Marcus Ball

Thoughts: The Saints would be heaviest in the secondary, and it has a lot to do with the safety position. Pierre Warren and Vinnie Sunseri have done enough to warrant a roster spot, and I still love Marcus Ball’s versatility, despite some injury concern. SJB is a project, and I can’t see us trying to slip him through the cracks to land on the practice squad. With Rob Ryan saying he wants to play his best players on game day, the secondary has stood out as ‘those guys’.

Special Teams (3)

Derek Dimke
Thomas Morstead
Justin Drescher

Thoughts: You know by now that I’m drinking the Derek Dimke Kool-Aid. It’s not that I dislike veteran kicker Shayne Graham, but I believe the Saints need to go with the younger kicker and really put a patch (not a band-aid) on an inconsistent position the Saints have had for quite some time.

Physically Unable to Perform (PUP)

Erik Lorig

Thoughts: Again, we don’t know the extent of what’s going on with Erik Lorig. However, we do know that we haven’t seen Lorig since August 2nd. Lorig hasn’t been put on injured reserve, which is a good sign.

Practice Squad (10)

Brandon Coleman, Kasim Edebali, Tavon Rooks, Seantavious Jones, Todd Davis, Brian Dixon, Derrick Strozier, Logan Kilgore, Khairi Fortt

Thoughts: I love the thought of this practice squad. It leaves one spot open, and I know realistically that not everyone will go here. However,  if I could have it my way, this is what our future would look like. 

What does your final Saints’ roster look like? Do you have someone like Kasim Edebali making this team? Who is the biggest suprises at players left off of this list? Sound off below!

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