The New Orleans Saints OTAs are underway, and the team is working hard to make sure they add the best players possible to their roster.
First-year Saints head coach Dennis Allen has not been shy about what he is looking for this offseason. He wants “tough smart football players.” Allen wants individuals who could fill needs at key spots.
The Saints scout team throughout the years has done a fantastic job finding diamonds in the rough, such as undrafted free agents who slid through the cracks, but have great potential. Saints greats like Lance Moore and Pierre Thomas are a few names we can name from that department, and most recently receivers Deonte Harty, and Marquez Callaway.
This year there is a new crop of guys that are getting an opportunity to make a name for themselves and to see their name on the list of the final 53-man roster. Here are three players who will have a very strong chance of making the New Orleans Saints team despite being under-the-radar names.
3. Bryce Thompson
Bryce Thompson may not be a guy most Saints fans are familiar with, but the 5’11″ 190-pound cornerback out of Tennessee has promise. New Orleans signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2021.
At Saints training camp last year, Thompson was a guy who always seem to be around the football and flying around the field all while showing incredible athleticism. Thompson was injured after the Saints’ first preseason game and was waived but brought back later that season.
Thompson has a strong chance of making the Saints roster in 2022.
Yes, the Saints right now have an embarrassment of riches in their secondary; Guys like Tyrann Matthieu, Marshon Lattimore, and Paulson Adebo are going to be taking snaps in there. They even drafted another cornerback Alontae Taylor from Thompson’s Alma Mater the University of Tennessee.
I don’t expect Thompson to beat out any of those players, and become a full-time corner on the outside or slot, but I do expect him to make the team as a special teams contributor. Thompson has great speed and great technique. Adding him to the Saints special teams unit would be a great move.
We have seen the Saints develop guys like Justin Hardee and J.T. Gray into special teams aces. Thompson’s experience, determination, and the coach’s familiarity with him could give him the edge over other young players who are trying to make the team.