Saints Roster: Realistic expectations for Justin Evans in 2022

Justin Evans (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Justin Evans (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

This is Justin Evans’ first year on the New Orleans Saints roster. What should fans expect from him in 2022? 

Current New Orleans Saints safety Justin Evans was a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers and spent two years there before injuries took their toll. During that 2017 season with the Bucs, Evans had 66 tackles and three interceptions through 14 games.

In 2018, which ended up being Evans’ final season, the former second-round pick appeared in 10 games and recorded 59 tackles and an interception. He was on Tampa Bay’s roster in 2019 but spent that entire year on injured reserve. It wasn’t a surprise when the team moved on from him following that season.

The official Saints website notes that during that 2018 season, Evans had a PFF grade of 67.7, which was the 52nd best grade amongst starting safeties.

Saints Roster: What should fans expect from Justin Evans in 2022?

Truthfully, Evans will have a hard time making the Saints’ 53-man roster. Not only has he not played in an NFL game since 2018 but he has plenty of competition surrounding him at safety.

We know that Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye are going to be the two starters at safety. Both are newcomers to the NOLA secondary and the Saints added them to replace Malcolm Jenkins and Marcus Williams.

Behind those guys, J.T. Gray is a lock to make it due to what he offers on special teams. I’m also in the “Smoke Monday makes the roster” camp but that’s not a guarantee.

Evans will have to compete against Monday and Daniel Sorensen for that potential final spot. With the Saints also using C.J. Gardner-Johnson and P.J. Williams as safeties, that could trim things down even more at the safety spot.

If Evans is able to find his way onto the 53-man roster, it’d be a nice story. Here’s a guy who hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since Dec. 2, 2018, and he’s trying to make a comeback and prove he isn’t a former second-round bust.

More than likely, though, Justin Evans will land on the practice squad. That’s a realistic expectation for him.

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