After Further Review: Saints final 53-man roster projection

After Further Review: Saints final 53-man roster projection
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will have some tough decisions to make when pairing down his final roster cuts. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool) (Source: Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -This will be one of Sean Payton’s toughest roster cuts of his tenure here. The overall evaluation was missing a key element with no preseason games this year. Plus, this Saints roster has at least 60 players that deserve a roster spot. Bottom line, some players they cut will end up on other teams.

Quarterback (3)

Drew Brees

Taysom Hill

Jameis Winston

As a group, this is one of the strongest quarterback rooms in football. Brees has caught fire the last couple of weeks. Winston has flashed supreme arm strength but has also been inaccurate at times, while Hill has had a fairly tame camp.

Many have asked who the Saints would turn to if Brees were to go down with injury? My answer is: I don’t know. There probably would have been a clearer picture in that debate if there was a preseason.

Running Back (5)

Alvin Kamara

Latavius Murray

Ty Montgomery

Michael Burton

Dwayne Washington

Murray is a workhorse the team can count on, while Montgomery’s versatility has stood out in camp. Burton remains the only fullback on the roster; Washington adds special teams value.

Wide Receiver (5)

Michael Thomas

Emmanuel Sanders

Tre’Quan Smith

Deonte Harris

Bennie Fowler

Harris’ development as a wide receiver adds a new wrinkle to this room. He’ll contribute more there in 2020. Fowler secures the last spot mainly because of his consistent play and ability to play special teams. A case can also be made for the Saints to replace Fowler with Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, Emmanuel Butler or Marquez Callaway or keep six receivers.

Tight End (4)

Jared Cook

Josh Hill

Adam Trautman

Tommy Stevens

The club really likes how Trautman has come along. Stevens has made some plays in camp but could be more of a developmental prospect. However, given how aggressively they pursued Stevens on draft day, it may be risky of them to let Stevens go and try to bring back to the practice squad.

Offensive Line (8)

Terron Armstead

Ryan Ramczyk

Andrus Peat

Cesar Ruiz

Erik McCoy

Nick Easton

Ethan Greenidge

Will Clapp

*James Hurst

Greenidge is a young player the Saints are high on. Clapp edges out Cameron Tom for the final spot due to his ability to play the ‘tackle eligible’ role.

*Hurst will serve a four-game suspension to start the season and won’t count against the 53.

Defensive Line (9)

Cam Jordan

Marcus Davenport

Carl Granderson

Trey Hendrickson

Sheldon Rankins

Malcom Brown

David Onyemata

Shy Tuttle

Margus Hunt

This group is as deep as they’ve ever been in the Sean Payton era. It was Mario Edwards or Margus Hunt for the final spot. It’s a toss-up, but I went with Hunt. Malcolm Roach is a player that could warrant some consideration as well.

Linebacker (6)

DeMario Davis

Alex Anzalone

Zack Baun

Craig Robertson

Kaden Elliss

Joe Bachie

Kiko Alonso*

Alonso remains on PUP. Thus, Bachie cracks the roster as the only undrafted free agent to make it. Elliss is a young player that’s starting to come into his own as well. Chase Hansen is another player to consider here.

Cornerback (5)

Marshon Lattimore

Janoris Jenkins

P.J. Williams

Patrick Robinson

Justin Hardee

This group has been impressive all camp long. Keith Washington is a player that’s come along over the last couple of weeks and might be able to sneak on. For now, he remains just outside of the 53.

Safety (5)

Marcus Williams

Malcolm Jenkins

CJ Gardner-Johnson

D.J. Swearinger

J.T. Gray

Swearinger’s veteran savvy has been evident this camp. Gray brings special teams ability. Saquan Hampton hasn’t done much in camp to earn a spot.

Specialists (3)

Wil Lutz

Zach Wood

Thomas Morstead

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