The first week of training camp is in the books. This time of the year everyone starts to try and guess what the 53 man roster will look like. Thanks to social media, you can have a pretty good idea of what’s going on at camp while sitting in the comfort of your own home. I’m not writing any of this in ink. Many things could and probably will change. Knowing the Saints, there will be some type of horrific injury and a potential starter could not even be on the roster. But with this roster projection, we are going to assume that everyone is healthy going into week 1.
-Drew Brees and Chase Daniel
No surprise here. Drew Brees is still the best player to ever wear the black and gold. I do not believe that Grayson is the heir apparent to Brees meaning that his time in the Big Easy could be up. This training camp is make or break for the third year pro.
Running Backs (6)
Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, Travaris Cadet, Daniel Lasco and John Kuhn
Six defiantly seems like a lot here but until Alvin Kamara proves that he can comfortably replace Cadet, I think Cadet stays. Cadet, to me, is one of the more underrated players on this team. He isn’t the best to hold the position but his role is very important and Sean Payton ask a lot of the running backs. If Kamara is everything as advertised Cadet is in trouble. Until that is proven Cadet has a place on this team. Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson are clearly the number 1 and 2 backs on the team while Lasco is very important on Special Teams.
Wide Receivers (5)
Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon Coleman and Corey Fuller
The number 1 and 2 receivers are set with Thomas and Snead. Reports from camp are that Brandon Coleman is having a really good camp and has been praised by Sean Payton (Remember last year when Payton said he was having a very pedestrian camp). Ted Ginn Jr. will provide the speed missing now that Brandin Cooks is in New England and help on Special Teams. Honestly I could see the Saints just keeping 4 but Fuller is having a very good camp as well. He is a contender for “Camp Darling of the Year.”
Tight End (3)
Colby Fleener, Michael Hoomanawanui, John Phillips
I might catch some heat with leaving Josh Hill out but health seems to be a problem. Not to mention that Hill has never lived up to the hype post Jimmy Graham. Colby Fleener was the biggest disappointment of 2016 but will get one more year to prove his worth. Hooman is a valuable blocker and can be moved to full back if something were to happen to Kuhn.
Offensive Line (9)
Zach Strief, Terron Armstead (short-term IR), Ryan Ramczyk, Max Unger, Larry Warford, Andrus Peat, Khalif Barnes, Senio Kelemete, Landon Turner and Josh LeRibeus.
Armstead is destined to be put on short-term IR and won’t be back until half way through the season if he does come back, so we won’t count him…yet. Ramczyk looks solid currently at tackle to replace Armstead. The rest of the line, assuming Max Unger is ready for week one should be set in stone.
Defensive Ends (4)
Cam Jordan, Alex Okafor, Trey Hendrickson and Hau’oli Kikaha.
Jordan is hands down the best player on this defense. The problem has been trying to find someone to play opposite of him consistently. I think Okafor could be the answer. He needs to prove that he can stay healthy and still perform. The good news is he has done it before. Hendrickson is interesting and I am eager to see him in some games. I think he could develop into a nice player for this team. As for Kikaha, he has an uphill battle to even make the team. I could easily see him cut if he has a bad camp.
Defensive Tackles (4)
Sheldon Rankins, Tyeler Davison, David Onyemata and Tony McDaniel.
The Saints are going to miss the production from Nick Fairly. However, if Rankins can improve off his rookie season and Davison continue to get better the line should be in good hands. Keep your eye on Onyemata. His development is key to making the defensive respectable in 2017.
A.J. Klein, Manti Te’o, Craig Robertson, Alex Anzalone, Nate Stupar, Stephone Anthony and Michael Mauti.
Mike Nolan has been given the task of turning around an awful linebacking corps. One that has been a revolving door of meh players. This is a make or break year for Anthony. I think he will survive through the season but without improvement this could be his last. Klein will be making the play calls with Te’o and Robertson as nice complimentary pieces. Anzalone…How could you cut a guy with that last name??? Stupar and Mauti are valuable to Special Teams so they make the roster…barely.
Delvin Breaux, Marshon Lattimore, P.J. Williams, Sterling Moore, Ken Crawley and Arthur Maulet.
Honestly, 6 might not be enough. Breaux and Lattimore both currently have injuries so we could see different names on this list come week 1. That’s only slightly concerning seeing as I would assume those two are your starters on the outside. This is a young group that must grow up…quickly!
Vonn Bell, Kenny Vaccaro, Marcus Williams and Rafael Bush.
This is a solid group and next to quarterback the easiest to predict. The Saints like using the three safety look and all four are very solid and capable players. Vaccaro is looking to cash in next offseason so expect big things from him.
Special Teams (3)
Will Lutz, Thomas Morestead, Thomas Gafford/Chase Dominguez
Lutz might end up being one of the best steals of the last few years. He had his struggles last year at the start of the season but seems to have corrected everything. Morestead will keep being Morestead. As for the long snapper, this is going to be one of the most competitive under the radar battles in camp. I am leaning with Gafford since he is the veteran.
Special Special Teams (1)
Darren Sproles’ Wife
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN SHE PLEASE REMOVE THE CURSE. WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH!!!!!!!!