After Further Review: Saints updated roster projection

Saints head coach Dennis Allen's first roster is taking shape.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen's first roster is taking shape.(Josh Auzenne | WAFB)
Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 12:59 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After 16 practices and two preseason games, the Saints roster is starting to take shape as they inch closer to the 2022 regular season. There are likely just a handful of spots unsettled.

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Here’s my latest roster projection.

Quarterback (2)

Jameis Winston

Andy Dalton

There really is no need to keep three quarterbacks on this roster presently. Ian Book has played almost two full preseason games, and hasn’t demonstrated much growth. Realistically, if the Saints ever got into a situation where they were down to their third-string quarterback, they’d possibly turn to Taysom Hill. Given how the tight the numbers are at other positions, the Saints could use the roster spot.

Running Back (5)

Alvin Kamara

Mark Ingram

Tony Jones, Jr.

Dwayne Washington

Adam Prentice

The battle for the third running back position is starting to clear up, with Jones beginning to separate himself from the pack. He added some solid special teams work against Green Bay. If they can get him through waivers, Abram Smith could be a practice squad player.

Wide Receiver (6)

Michael Thomas

Chris Olave

Jarvis Landry

Deonte Harty

Marquez Callaway

Tre’Quan Smith

Sticking with these six on this projection. The growth of Kirk Merritt and Dai’Jean Dixon is obvious, but I don’t know that either has done quite enough yet to bump any of these veterans. They still have some time to shine, and at the very least they’ll be very tough cuts.

Tight End (4)

Taysom Hill

Adam Trautman

Nick Vannett

Juwan Johnson

This group might end up being a little better than first anticipated. Trautman is producing and having a good camp. Hill is growing at the position, but will also be used in a variety of ways. Johnson is physically bigger and more comfortable. Vannett edges out the youngster Lucas Krull in this projection. With a better week to close out camp/preseason, maybe Krull can close the gap.

Offensive Line (8)

Ryan Ramczyk

Andrus Peat

Cesar Ruiz

Erik McCoy

James Hurst

Landon Young

Calvin Throckmorton

Trevor Penning

Injuries have hit this group, which could impact the numbers here. Penning showed obvious growth in his second preseason game. Hopefully, the players that are banged up can return soon.

Defensive End (5)

Cam Jordan

Payton Turner

Marcus Davenport

Carl Granderson

Tanoh Kpassagnon

This group has remained steady. When fully healthy, it can be one of the best defensive end rooms in football. Hopefully that can happen this season. If injuries linger, Taco Charlton could sneak on.

Defensive Tackle (4)

David Onyemata

Shy Tuttle

Kentavius Street

Malcolm Roach

Roach has had one of the more underrated camps thus far. Jordan Jackson has yet to show much, and is likely a practice squad player.

Linebacker (6)

Demario Davis

Pete Werner

Chase Hansen

Kaden Elliss

Eric Wilson

Andrew Dowell

This group feels the least settled. There are still so many unknowns behind Davis and Werner, who is injured. For this projection, I took 2020 third-round pick Zack Baun off. It wasn’t an easy decision, but Chase Hansen was with the first team the last two preseason games. Plus, Wilson has made plays in camp. Dowell is a significant special teamer.

Two other names that could make a move in this last week are Jon Bostic and Nelphi Sewell.

Cornerback (5)

Marshon Lattimore

Paulson Adebo

CJ Gardner-Johnson

Bradley Roby

Alontae Taylor

Their week in Green Bay only reinforced how good this group really is. They’re talented, deep and one of the best position groups on the entire team.

Safety (5)

Tyrann Mathieu

Marcus Maye

P.J. Williams

J.T. Gray

Justin Evans

This was the first week it felt like Mathieu and Maye’s chemistry might be coming together. The final spot was a toss-up between Evans and Daniel Sorensen. Evans has flashed a bit more on defense. Thus, he gets the nod in this projection.

Specialists (3)

Wil Lutz

Zach Wood

Blake Gillikin

Lutz and Gillikin both look in midseason form. They both absolutely destroyed the ball against Green Bay.

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