2. Will Clapp
Whereas the Saints’ defensive line could use all the help they can get, their O-line boasts one of the strongest units on the team heading into this season. Thanks to Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramcyzk, and Andrus Peat, among others, New Orleans won’t have to worry about Hill or Winston getting sacked.
That’s why they could do without lineman Will Clapp.
Clapp recently resigned a one-year contract with the Saints, but his future with the team remains cloudy. Last season, Clapp was tossed back and forth between the practice squad and first team, waived and re-signed on almost a weekly basis, so his contract in 2021 stabilizes his career a little bit. But that doesn’t mean his spot isn’t in jeopardy.
A seventh round pick out of LSU in 2018, Clapp has appeared in 26 games with New Orleans and totaled 479 snaps on offense and 177 reps on special teams over three seasons.
Seventh-year veteran James Hurst will likely be the go-to backup lineman behind the Saints’ five defensive stalwarts, but behind him lies a group of young and versatile replacements. Rookie Landon Young from Kentucky enters the unit with promise, as does Christian Montano, the center from Tulane (who will be Clapp’s most direct competitor).
While Clapp does provide extra versatility to the interior at either center or guard, so does Derrick Kelly, and Kelly doesn’t have half of Clapp’s injury-plagued history.
Clapp enters his fourth year with the Saints and will be battling it out for a reserve lineman role like the rest of them. If he doesn’t shine over the rookies during preseason, he could be someone the Saints look to offload rather than hold onto.