Saints Roster Projection: Cornerbacks

johnsigler
Jun 16, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (21) during the final day of minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (21) during the final day of minicamp at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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The New Orleans Saints roster will suffer some scheduled paring-downs this year, but knowing they’re coming won’t make it any less painful.  Little more than half of the players on the 90-man roster going into training camp will still be here come opening day against the Oakland Raiders in September.

My New Orleans Saints roster projection is shaping up.  Here’s a list of links to every position group I’ve covered so far:

Here’s which cornerbacks I’m projecting to survive roster cuts and land on the Saints roster:

  1. Delvin Breaux #40
  2. Keenan Lewis #21
  3. P.J. Williams #25
  4. Damian Swann #38
  5. Brian Dixon #20
  6. De’Vante Harris #49

Age is the biggest area of interest for this position group on the Saints roster.  New Orleans native Keenan Lewis is the only cornerback with more than three years logged in the NFL, and he’s also the oldest.  Delvin Breaux (second-year) is 27 years old, and Brian Dixon (third year) is 26 years old.

Considering the typically-lackluster level of play from Saints corners, this youth movement should be welcomed.  It’s indicative of a changing cast and attempts at upgrades.  Second-year draft picks P.J. Williams and Damian Swann are joining CFL import Delvin Breaux, who was one of a few bright spots on the much-maligned defense last year.

One surprising addition is De’Vante Harris, who played at a very high level during his Texas A&M career.  Harris joined the Saints roster as an undrafted free agent after this May’s draft and has already gotten looks with the first team defense.  He’s also been active on special teams units.

I’m fully expecting both Harris and Brian Dixon to make this Saints roster.  Dixon has been on the active Saints roster for three years and didn’t play poorly in limited action last year.  He’s got great size (6-foot-1, 200-pounds) for an NFL cornerback.  He also plays special teams.  The instability at the top of the Saints roster at cornerback makes an opportunity for both Dixon and Harris to thrive.

Six cornerbacks may seem like a lot to carry on this Saints roster, but considering the injury history to half of them – Lewis and Williams missed all of 2015 to injuries, while Swann was shut down after a series of concussions – it’s a necessity.

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