Currently, there are six running backs competing for spots on the roster. A few of the guys already have guaranteed their place on the team, but a few players will need to have an exceptional preseason to show that they belong.
Make the jump to see my opinion of the chances each player has to make the Saints regular season roster. Afterwards, don't forget to offer your own opinion in the comment section.
These guys come as no surprise to definitely make the final roster. Last year the Saints acquired Darren Sproles through free agency from the San Diego Chargers. He was expected to have a good season with the team but no one expected that he would break the record for most combined yards in a season, etching his name in history.
Pierre Thomas is known as a "jack of all trades" because he can do anything and everything as an offensive weapon. Taking hand offs off-tackle and catching screen passes might be his favorite though. If he can overcome his concussion from the divisional playoff game versus the 49ers, he will be a big part of the offense once again.
Mark Ingram is the Saints sophomore sleeper for next season. Taken late in the first round of the 2011 draft, he didn't contribute as much as we wanted. He has declared that he is completely healthy so expect him to get more touches and better results this year.
Chris Ivory is a fan favorite of the Who Dat Nation. Undrafted out of Tiffin, he has been a pretty good contributor for the team. In 2010 he appeared in only twelve games and led the team in rushing by nearly 500 yards. The Saints like to keep four running backs on the roster at all times so he will most likely make the team, but his injuries have caused a little concern.
On the Bubble
I put Cadet on the bubble because he will most likely be the next man up if one of the starting backs gets injured. But until then, he will probably be placed on the practice squad. This offseason, he was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State. In his tenure as a Mountaineer, he was a All-Southern Conference selection twice. Like our friend Sprolesy, Cadet is a versatile player. He has played as a back, receiver, return specialist, and even quarterback. Preseason games will be a great test for him.
Banyard, like Cadet, was signed as an undrafted free agent. He was first acquired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he was quickly put on waivers, where the Saints would eventually grab him. All though neither players' stats are impressive, Banyard's are lesser so than Cadet's, making him even more of a longshot to get a spot on the roster. He may spend all of his time on the practice squad this year unless his play in preseason proves otherwise.