Forgive me Juge, I have sinned. It has been 6 weeks since my last post. Then again I do not think that is the only reason you quit 😉
I am glad Brian is continuing and we have a few others that turn in a post from time to time (like me) and I am sure Andrew will be commenting on Brians outrageous claims he will be making in his posts. For now I have a small series planned during the pre-season that I will kick off today.
A few guys were so nice to look at the current roster and make a final 53 prediction and mail it to me. I will try to get everyone’s update after each pre-season game. Since there is no time between the last game and final cuts I will make a review on who had the best prediction and then you con decide which writers Jugement you trust the most going into the season. Last years winner was Brian who only participated the last week if I remember correctly 🙂
So let’s go; The Saints Roster currently stands at 89. The writers participating this round are Andrew Juge (A), Brian Bauer (B), Ryan Dodd (R) and me (M). The players are listed per position (as listed on the Sainst website… mostly) and alphabetically. First the ones that are selected by all to play, then per row after it will be indicated by the letters which writer choose them.
The final 53 predictions for now are:
- Brees, Daniel
- Ingram, Kamara, Lasco, Peterson
- Ginn, Snead, Michael Thomas
- Coleman (A, B, R)
- Lampman (R, M)
- Fuller (A, M)
- Lewis (B)
- Fleener, Hoomanawanui
- Hill (A, B, R)
- Harbor (A)
- Phillips (M)
- Barnes, Ramczyk, Strief
- Bryce Harris (B)
- Kelemete, Peat, Warford
- Turner (A, R, M)
- LeRibeus (A, B)
- Watt (R)
- Allen (B, M)
- Davison, Onyemata, Rankins
- McDaniel (A, B, R)
- Gwacham (M)
- Jordan, Okafor, Hendrickson, Kikaha
- Muhammad (M, R)
- Anthony, Anzalone, Ellerbe, Klein, Robertson
- Te’o (A, B, M)
- Stupar (B, M, R)
- Breaux, Crawley, Lattimore, Moore, P.J. Williams
- Maulet (A, R)
- Swann (M)
- Bush, Vaccaro, Marcus Williams, Bell
- Erik Harris (B, R)
- Banjo (A)
- Gafford (A, B)
- Dominguez (R, M)
A few notes:
- We all put Armstead on PUP. He does not count towards the active roster come week 1.
- We all agree on QB, RB and FB. K and P are also a given since there is only 1 on the roster at this point.
- We agree on 42 players to make it for sure (barring injuries).
- Notable players who are selected by none; Grayson (QB), Nassib (QB), Cadet (RB), Murphy (RB)
Ryan also added his thoughts on the selection. I will add them here and add my own comment on them;
R: The only really tough position to predict on offense was the final WR spot. It came down to choosing between Lampman and Fuller. Fuller may be more talented but I think Lampman was a solid gunner as a rookie. Unless Fuller can contribute on ST, I think Lampman will win that spot. I love Tommy-Lee Lewis but he doesn’t offer much of anything on special teams and had pretty suspect hands while playing offense.
M: I agree. I think the Saints would even go with 4 WRs but I cut Coleman because I hate the guy. I hope Fuller can jump high and be better in the endzone then Coleman. And Lewis and Cadet are done with Kamara here.
R: The defense was a pretty tricky beast. There are a lot of bodies at the DE and LB positions (good thing). Kikaha, Gwacham, Tapp and Muhammad may be fighting for one spot. Payton rarely cuts draft picks so I’m thinking if Muhammad shows any kind of production in camp and/or preseason, he’ll have a spot locked up. Kikaha and Gwacham are both really talented but it is yet to be seen how they return from their injuries. I went with Kikaha simply because he flashed a lot of potential as a rookie and has magnificent hair. Tapp wasn’t terrible last year but he’s older and doesn’t possess the upside of the younger defensive ends. I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if he made the squad. At the very least, he’ll be on speed dial when injury inevitably strikes.
M: I can see Muhammad making the PS if he is not impressive. Saints Could make something out of McDaniel, but then again he has been able to fool a lot of teams to sign him for 1 year and they all felt they had to replace him the next. That has to stop once.
R: The Linebacker position was probably the most difficult to decide. I think the only locks are Anzalone, Klein, and Robertson. That leaves Ellerbe, Anthony, Bighill, Stupar, Tautu, and Te’o fighting for the final few spots. Ellerbe is obviously the biggest impact player of the bunch, but I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to suggest he may come down with a nagging injury before the start of the season at which point, in my opinion, the team needs to just move on. Anthony somewhat surprisingly made my final roster. The former first round pick is still young, ultra talented and I’m holding out hope that Vitt was holding him back. I am also banking on Payton’s reluctance to admit defeat and egotistically keep Anthony on the roster to prove a point. Is he that petty? Probably. Bighill was probably the hardest player to cut. I want him to succeed but he was one of the few linebackers that didn’t make much noise during practice. Perhaps he will display dominance on special teams in the preseason, at which point, I think he steals Anthony’s roster spot. Stupar is a core special teamer that played pretty well on defense last year. That type of versatility makes him a near-lock but I wouldn’t be shocked if the team opts for a younger player with more upside. Tautu is a UFA and is most likely PS bound. Te’o generated some hype, but I think his lack of athleticism and injury proneness will hurt his chances. His calling card will be his leadership. I see him similarly to last year’s Laurinaitis.
M: I initially cut Te’o too. He was a good player under the current (new) Saints LB coach. But I think he might not have it due to injuries. Then I realised I had only 52 guys on my roster and put him back on. These are great ST players and good depth; all of them even if they do not start any game.
R: At corner, the top four spots are pretty much set. That leaves Calhoun, Crawley, De’Vante Harris, Maulet and Swann battling for the last spot(s). In the end, I think it would be wise to keep some depth at this position. Therefore, in my final roster prediction, Crawley and Maulet both made the squad. Calhoun is talented but more of a PS type player at this point. Harris had a stellar preseason last year then hit rock bottom during the season. Despite all the injuries, Harris still couldn’t get on the field and made one of the most embarrassing goofs of the season on special teams. Even before Swann’s injury, he was reportedly having a terrible offseason. I think he is likely on the outside looking in.
M: I think Maulet has a better chance to make it from cuts to the PS then Swann does. Unless Swann is shitting the bed in the pre-season I see him making it over Maulet because Swann would be signed instantly by an other team when he is cut.
R: Safety, like CB, looks to have the top four spots locked up with Vaccaro, Bell, Bush, and Williams. The final spot will need to be a player with special team prowess and be able to somewhat play on defense. Banjo and Harris are close, but I think Harris’s defensive talent in combination with his special team’s ability gives him a slight edge for that final spot.
M: They for sure like Banjo after they redid his contract in the off-season. But I think a guy like Lampman is also valuable. They only need 4. It is true they often play a 3 safety look, but that third safety could very well be a fast LB or a CB.
R: At long snapper, I decided to go with youth over experience. It’s a bit of a gamble, but I think Dominguez is simply a better snapper as well as athlete. See final Roster below.
M: I like that battle and I went with the Latin guy simple because his name is more interesting haha. Gafford has the experience but Dominguez has the potential. It all depends if Dom can keep his cool under pressure he will be it. Then again I have no idea what competition Gafford went up against before.