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New Orleans Saints: Way too early roster projection on offense for 2021

Darral Nail
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) gestures with offensive guard Cesar Ruiz (51) after scoring his fourth touchdown of the game in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) gestures with offensive guard Cesar Ruiz (51) after scoring his fourth touchdown of the game in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Terron Armstead and Erik McCoy of the New Orleans Saints (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Terron Armstead and Erik McCoy of the New Orleans Saints (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints Offensive Line (8)

  • Terron Armstead
  • Andrus Peat
  • Erik McCoy
  • Cesar Ruiz
  • Ryan Ramczyk
  • James Hurst
  • Landon Young
  • Will Clapp

The Saints have committed to devoting resources and capital to the team’s offensive line, and the unit has repaid the team’s efforts with superior play. The current starting group is made up of three first-round picks, a second-round selection, and a $65 million tackle who ranks among the game’s very best.

2020 first-round pick Cesar Ruiz appeared to pass muster as a rookie, despite struggling a bit in pass protection. While Ruiz’s collegiate tape at Michigan showed a player much more comfortable at center than guard, Erik McCoy has quickly developed into a top performer at the center position during his two seasons in New Orleans.

The Saints will once again feature a pair of All-Pro bookends in Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, with long-time left guard Andrus Peat rounding out the all-but-certain starting five.

Former Baltimore Raven James Hurst is a pass-blocking specialist at the tackle position who could start for a number of league teams. He returns for year two as the team’s sixth lineman and a buttress against injury to Armstead.

While fellow 2019 UDFAs Ethan Greenidge and Derrick Kelly occupied the final roster spots for the group in 2020, this projection would spell the end of the road for each in the season ahead.

Rookie draft pick Landon Young, of the emerging offensive line factory that is the Kentucky Wildcat program, arrives in the Big Easy with a massive frame and top-level physical traits, having started 30 games on the outside in the rugged SEC. With projected outside/in versatility at tackle and guard, Young offers an intriguing mix of polish and upside.

Despite having been waived during the previous season before spending much of the year on the team’s practice squad, Will Clapp draws the nod here as a known commodity along the interior.

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