Yeah yeah, I know. It’s ridiculous to even predict a 53 man roster before any of the players are in pads. But the roster is set at 90 and it’s fun to look into the future, right? There’s a lot of questions about this roster, moreso than most previous Sean Payton years, and veterans and youngsters alike will have to work hard to earn their roster spots. Here’s how I see it playing out:
QBs (3) Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Garrett Grayson
Ryan Griffin maybe goes back to practice squad, but otherwise his time in NOLA is done. That’s just my guess for now, though I’d love to see Griffin take over the #2 spot for McCown. I think the Saints keep 3 quaterbacks this year because they can’t afford to expose Grayson to waivers but he’s not ready to be the primary backup.
RBs (4) Mark Ingram, C. J. Spiller, Khiry Robinson, Tim Hightower
I had a hard time leaving Marcus Murphy off the roster but I think the Saints already have Spiller and Jalen Saunders that offer what Murphy can do. Unless Murphy has an electric preseason he’s destined for the practice squad. Hightower is a good guy to keep around in case someone goes down because he can handle volume play.
FB (1) Austin Johnson
Darkhorse prediction here that Erik Lorig gets cut.
WRs (6) Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, Seantavius Jones, Nick Toon, Josh Morgan, Jalen Saunders
Brandon Coleman goes back to the practice squad and Joe Morgan is the odd man out. Maybe that’s a bit of a surprise but I think the other Morgan sticks around for his blocking. Saunders made quite an impression as a returner last year so he stays. I give R. J. Harris an outside shot, too, and maybe he ends up on the practice squad. Harris is an early favorite UDFA to make the roster.
TE (2) Ben Watson, Josh Hill
I believe the Saints will sign a veteran tight end at some point that is not currently on the roster for the final 53. Either at final cuts, or in the next few weeks. But because he’s not on the team now, I’ll keep these two only.
T (4) Terron Armstead, Zach Strief, Andrus Peat, Bryce Harris
No real surprise here.
G (3) Tim Lelito, Jahri Evans, Senio Kelemete
Only keeping 3 for now. Sean Hickey and Mike McGlynn are in the mix, though.
C (1) Max Unger
The guards can spot play at center in case of injury. Lelito is the most likely to slide over.
DE (4) Akiem Hicks, Cameron Jordan, Junior Galette, Tyeler Davison
I’m sure an UDFA will emerge here, I just don’t know who yet. Glenn Foster gets cut, unfortunately, as coming back from a serious injury is tough.
DT (3) Kevin Williams, Brodrick Bunkley, John Jenkins
I was tempted to cut Williams and/or Bunkley, but this defense needs leadership.
LB (8) Dannell Ellerbe, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber, Hau’oli Kikaha, Stephone Anthony, Anthony Spencer, Kasim Edebali, Ronald Powell
For now I’m putting Davis Tull on PUP/IR with his shoulder injury because he needs time to develop. I also see Parys Haralson getting cut, maybe.
CB (6) Keenan Lewis, Brandon Browner, Delvin Breaux, P. J. Williams, Kyle Wilson, Brian Dixon
I’m cutting Terrence Frederick and Stanley Jean-Baptiste loose here. SJB in particular needs to show something soon. I wanted to keep Damian Swann but I think he starts on the practice squad.
S (5) Jairus Byrd, Kenny Vaccaro, Rafael Bush, Jamarca Sanford, Vinnie Sunseri
Veteran Kenny Phillips doesn’t make the team in his comeback attempt. Pierre Warren is cut, too.
K (1) Dustin Hopkins
Who knows who the kicker will be?
P (1) Thomas Morstead
LS (1) Justin Drescher
So tell me what you disagree with so far?