The Saint must trim their roster to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Twenty-two players will be given the bad news, and for some it might just be their last chance at a gig in the NFL. Here are my projections as to what the final roster might look like.
Drew Brees is your starter… I don’t need to go into a lot of detail. Luke McCown’s experience gets him the nod as the backup. He played well in the preseason, and the Saints want the insurance if something should happen to Drew Brees. Rookie QB Ryan Griffin has played well enough to make a spot on the practice squad.
Running Backs (4):
Locked in: Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet
Bubble: Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet. This might be one of the tougher decisions the Saints coaching staff will have to make. Last season New Orleans kept 5 running backs. I don’t see that happening this year. Khiry Robinson has been impressive in the preseason. He’s also had the most opportunities. Cadet was the darling of training camp last season, and found himself in the doghouse after two fumbles in the preseason against the Raiders. After Cadet didn’t make the trip to Miami. That leads me to believe Robinson makes the roster
Locked in: Jed Collins - There is really not a lot of explaining or analyzing to do here. He’s their guy and that’s that.
Wide Receiver (6)
Locked in: Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Nick Toon, and Kenny Stills, Courtney Roby and Preston Parker
Bubble: Andy Tanner, Saalim Hakiem
Keep this in mind when you pare the Saints roster: New Orleans will use tight ends Jimmy Graham and Benjamin Watson at wide receiver a lot, giving the team in essence 6 or 7 wide receivers. Andy Tanner is steady, sure handed and a guy that you can’t help but route for. However, he doesn’t do any one thing outstanding. Tanner is still eligible for the practice squad, if he isn’t snatched up by another team. I suspect Tanner will land on someone’s roster if he is let go. Hakiem has had his chances in the preseason, but just hasn’t been able to cash in on some plays
Tight End (3)
Locked in: Jimmy Graham, Benjamin Watson, Michael Higgins
Bubble: I really wouldn’t consider anyone to be on the bubble, it comes down to the three players listed above. Josh Hill, and Keavon Milton haven’t done much in camp and preseason.
Offensive line: (8)
Locked in: Brian De la Puente, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Zach Streif, Charles Brown, Tim Lelito, Bryce Harris, and Terron Armstead. Marcel Jones
Bubble: Andrew Tiller, and Eric Olsen
The Saints typically keep a “swing” offensive lineman that can play two positions along the offensive line. That player is Tim Lelito (guard and center,) who had a nice heads-up play Thursday night when he picked up a Saints fumble in the endzone and scored a TD.
Terron Armstead will be the backup at tackle position. Tiller hasn’t been impressive in camp, and missed some time with an injury making him expendable.
Defensive line: (7)
Locked in: Cameron Jordan, Brodrick Bunkley, Aiem Hicks, Glenn Foster, John Jenkins, Tom Johnson, and Tyrunn Walker
Foster has been the star of the preseason with four sacks. Cameron Jordan looks poised for a breakout season.
Bubble: This is a pretty simple decision for the Saints. These are the guys who have stood out. If Kenyon Coleman weren’t lost for the season the cuts might have been a little more difficult.
Inside Linebackers: (5)
Locked in: Curtis Lofton, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber, Jonathan Vilma, Kevin Reddick
Bubble: Will Herring and Ray Shipman.
The Injury to Jonathan Vilma could be a game changer if they decide to place him on injured reserve. Vilma had his knee scoped a few weeks ago and the team hopes he’s ready for week 1. Herring and Shipman have been unimpressive in the preseason.
Outside linebackers: (5)
Locked in: Junior Galette, Martez Wilson, Parys Haralson, Jay Richardson, Rufus Johnson
Bubble: Baraka Atkins
The Saints have lost two starters at this position in the offseason and training camp (Victor Butler and Will Smith). This position would have been a bit more difficult to break down had it not been for those injuries. Galette and Wilson will be ready for week one.
Locked in: Malcolm Jenkins, Rafael Bush, Roman Harper and Kenny Vaccaro, Isa-Abdul Quddus
Bubble: Jim Leonard, Jerico Nelson. Leonard is worth keeping around if you can for leadership. Nelson is likely headed to the practice squad.
Locked in: Keenan Lewis, Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, Rod Sweeting, Chris Carr and Corey White
Bubble: Corey Lindsay
The Saints have the luxury of keeping just five Cornerback’s because of the versatility of Kenny Vaccaro at Safety. Vaccaro will likely be the “Nickle Back” and cover the slot receievers when the Saints go to that package. Corey White made the team a season ago, but Rod Sweeting is the bigger faster option. Chris Carr hasn’t done anything spectacular but veteran experience helps him stick. White could be on the roster instead of Carr. This one is up in the air.
Kicker: Garret Hartley - He’s had his best camp of his career
Punter: Thomas Moorstead - a huge weapon for this team
Long Snapper: Justin Drescher - you don’t get noticed until you snap the ball over someone’s head.
The league mandated roster cut to 53 players is Saturday afternoon at 5pm. Injuries on the defensive side of the football would have made these cuts a little more difficult especially at defensive line and Outside Linebacker. New Orleans has lost three players for the season on D. Kenyon Coleman (chest), Will Smith (knee) and Victor Butler (knee).
I believe that Robinson makes the team and Cadet is gone. I also think that Corey White could be gone, he has had a lousy pre-season. Corey Lindsay or Jericho Nelson could make it.
I think Robinson proved himself last night. I think Cadet is gone or he would have been there last night. And you can tell by the way the coach said he did not come. I pretty much agree with you on roster but they do not have good CB-- Greer needs to go.
I wish they could keep Hakiem because of his speed
S C A R Y
You are on the sidelines? I'm not sure you are watching the games or maybe it's you don't understand football. Anyway, here's a free tip. Take some writing classes.
I think Cory should stay and cadet go Cory had a 100 yard ge and looked great doing it what do y'all think who Dats
We should get rid of Mark Ingram he does nothing special, his nickname should be 2.2 because that's about what he averages a carry. And I get Vilma has done a lot for us, but he is done. Patriots get rid of older players a year early rather than a year late, we need to start to do the same
53 man roster, nice
Oh wait, just because you didn't put a # next to the TE's they still count toward the roster. Good try though.
When you say Jim Leonard, do you mean Jim Leonhard?
Think you meant 56 man roster
Yeah, definitely a 56 man roster there
Look good. Like Cadet, but Robinson is more like Pierre, don't go down easy. Vilma still has talent to offer, we would be better if an ilb or a bigger db could play some olb... really like Ray Ray Armstrong in St. LOUIS. Not the biggest yet, but his type and play has looked great in preseason. If we don't have a guy like dat, maybe we can find one in this cutting process!