This week will certainly give us more insight for the 2016 New Orleans Saints squad.
Let’s just say this, at least 60 percent of the Saints roster figures to be set in stone. Yes, this may seem a bit far-fetched without seeing preseason action. However, if you can’t pan across the team’s roster and come up with at least 35 players you feel comfortable going into the new season with right now, then there’s bigger problems.
After doing this several times last season, I’ll give you my best guess at projecting the New Orleans Saints final 53-man roster and practice squad with some position battle notes. New players are denoted in bold.
The ‘pre-Preseason’ New Orleans Saints 53-man roster prediction
Roster Battle Notes
- Although we don’t know the extent of the damage for Austin Johnson, it’s safe to say that the Saints won’t go without having a fullback.
- I’ll say that keeping only four running backs is optimal right now, and that could easily add another wide receiver, offensive lineman, or defensive lineman. However, I look at the injury history for C.J. Spiller and Mark Ingram, and I see this more as a possibility.
- The third offensive tackle, for depth, is a bit of a mystery here. I give the early edge to Tyrus Thompson, but veteran Tony Hills and rookie Avery Young could eventually threaten here. Jack Allen gets my early nod over Landon Turner.
- I sacrificed a spot on offense to compensate for David Onyemata. I think he has a spot on the roster if he can keep building upon his early successes.
- The linebacker corps is short Michael Mauti, and it’s not because I think he’s a bad player. The New Orleans Saints invested heavily in that makeover, and Nathan Stupar would likely fill in much better over him.
- The secondary feels pretty set in stone at the safety position, but the cornerback battle is what to keep an eye on. Undrafted rookies Jimmy Pruitt, Ken Crawley, and De’Vante Harris have all made some good plays for Dennis Allen’s defense, but it’s Harris who gets the early nod.
- As for a return specialist, I’m going to default to Travaris Cadet until I see more out of Marcus Murphy and Tommylee Lewis.
We may get a few more answers after the team’s first preseason game against the New England Patriots on Thursday, but it’s likely to only be a bit more difficult as we keep rolling along.