NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -It’s never easy putting together a roster projection based off what we see in the offseason program. The circumstances are just not real football. Normally, my first one comes right before training camp. This year, though, I decided to publish it a little early.
The quarterback room is in really good hands.
One could make a legitimate case for just four players at this position. This projection has five because Washington can help with special teams and Ozigbo could be a true short-yardage, power runner that could find a role.
Ted Ginn Jr.
The first three are obvious. Behind them though is less clear. For this projection, I kept six receivers, but with Taysom Hill a contributor here, that might be a little high. Carr is an interesting player. He’s built in the mold of Lance Moore or Willie Snead but has yet to reach their levels of production. Still, he seems to be a favorite of Sean Payton, so he’s on for now. Kirkwood and Cobbs have nearly identical physical dimensions. With Kirkwood missing a portion of the offseason, Cobbs took advantage and made a lot of plays. In Cam Meredith’s case, he has to get healthy to have a chance. Don’t discount Rishard Matthews or even Cyril Grayson here either.
One of the best competitions of training camp could come at the third tight end between Mack and Dan Arnold. Arnold has a year in the system; Mack made some big plays during the offseason. This projection has Mack winning the job but the race is pretty open.
Offensive Line (9)
The versatility of Easton and Peat makes this projection a little tricky. For instance, do the Saints keep a true backup tackle or kick Peat out to tackle should one get injured? And what does Easton’s versatility to play center and guard do for Clapp and Tom? For this projection, I kept all of them and included Newhouse as their true backup tackle. He was getting reps with the first team when Armstead was out this offseason.
Sheldon Rankins* (PUP possibility)
With Rankins likely headed to PUP, the four defensive tackles seem pretty obvious. The question is where do they subtract when Rankins returns?
This is probably the spot the team should look to add a veteran if possible for training camp. Jordan and Davenport are guarantees. Hendrickson received first team reps this offseason but will need a strong camp and preseason to stick. Granderson is an undrafted guy that also got first team reps and looked good without pads. However, my confidence is never high in evaluations of defensive lineman before the pads come on.
They could easily go just five linebackers here, but I kept seventh round pick Ellis on because of his versatility. For him to stick, he will have to contribute on special teams like Robertson and Beigel both do.
Special teams gets Hardee and Sherels on this projection. Robinson vs. Williams at nickel is the second best battle of camp behind center. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson can see some snaps there as well. Don’t discount Kayvon Webster here either.
Chauncey Gardner Johnson
For this projection, sixth round pick Saquan Hampton was left off. But that could change with a solid training camp and preseason.
This room is pretty set.