Saints 53-Man Roster Projection 2013 Preseason: Final Edition

Marc Serota

Here's my final projection of the Saints' 53-man roster following their 21-24 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The Saints looked like they were going to cap off the 2013 preseason with a perfect 4-0 record, but they let their lead slip away and couldn't complete the comeback attempt. Be sure to refer back to my previous roster projections to compare the difference:

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Quarterbacks (2)

Drew Brees, Luke McCown

Analysis: McCown solidified his spot as backup versus the Dolphins. He played a solid game and didn't mess anything up. Ryan Griffin should find his way to the practice squad where he will develop into the Saints' possible quarterback of the future.

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Running Backs (4)

Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Khiry Robinson

Analysis: Neither Darren Sproles or Travaris Cadet dressed out for the Dolphins. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson split the entire game but two carries by Pierre. Other than his fumble, Ingram looked good. His vision looked better and he looked quick. Robinson ran extremely hard and once again he did not go down without multiple guys getting a hand on him.

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Fullbacks (1)

Jed Collins

Analysis: Jed Collins will be the lone fullback on the Saints' roster this year. Austin Johnson could be a possible practice squad candidate.

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Wide Receivers (6)

Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Preston Parker, Nick Toon, Andy Tanner, Kenny Stills

Analysis: I'm about 99 percent positive that this will be the Saints' receiving corps in 2013. The only player that would be switched out would be Andy Tanner, but I think that he showed out enough this preseason to make the final roster. I'm really looking forward to this group as there is a lot of talent and capability.

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Tight Ends (2)

Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson

Analysis: I would be really surprised if the Saints went with three tight ends in 2013. Michael Higgins didn't prove that he deserves to be on the 53-man roster. The Black and Gold will be just fine at this position.

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Offensive Line (8)

Charles Brown, Terron Armstead, Marcel Jones, Zach Strief, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Andrew Tiller, Brian de la Puente

Analysis: I'm still a little bit leery about the Saints' depth at the tackle positions. The starters are clearly going to be Charles Brown and Zach Strief, but after that it is a toss up. Hopefully they can sure that up soon because they definitely can't afford any injuries to that position this year.

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Defensive Line (6)

Cam Jordan, Glenn Foster, Tyrunn Walker, Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins, Brodrick Bunkley

Analysis: All four of the Saints' sacks versus the Dolphins came from the defensive line. I'm very content with the pressure this group is getting. Cam Jordan, Akiem Hicks, and John Jenkins all have extremely high ceilings and I just can't wait to see them in action.

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Linebackers (10)

Martez Wilson, Baraka Atkins, Parys Haralson, Junior Galette, Rufus Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber, Curtis Lofton, Kevin Reddick

Analysis: I haven't really decided my stance on Will Smith's season ending injury. I really feel for the guy and I have always been a big fan of his. He has also been around since 2004, making him the longest tenured Saint left on the roster. But I just don't think he was a very good fit in their new 3-4 scheme. I hope he can rebound and possibly give it a shot next season.

Will Smith's replacement will be Parys Harlson, a former San Francisco 49er. He is a really interesting player that should thrive under Rob Ryan's scheme. A very good statistic I found on him goes as follows: In 2011 (he missed the 2012 season due to injury), Harlson dropped back in coverage 119 times. Out of that number, he was only targeted eight times. Out of the eight targets, only four were completed passes. We can only hope that he produces numbers similar to this.

Because Eric Martin was recently cut when the team had to reduce down to 75 players, I was forced to make another switch to this group. I picked Baraka Atkins to fill the void. I have seen some good things out of him this preseason, but he likely won't play a lot in 2013.

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Cornerbacks (6)

Keenan Lewis, Patrick Robinson, Jabari Greer, Corey White, Chris Carr, Rod Sweeting

Analysis: I'm going to stick with these guys to make the final 53-man roster. Sweeting should be the only player that has the risk of being cut.

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Safeties (5)

Roman Harper, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Jenkins, Rafael Bush

Analysis: I'm really excited to see this group play this year. Even though it doesn't seem like it, it is surprisingly pretty deep. This is not to mention that a few of these guys can play both safety positions.

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Special Teams (3)

Thomas Morstead (P), Garrett Hartley (PK), Justin Drescher (LS)

Analysis: Hartley missed his lone field goal on the night from 55 yards away.

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What do you guys think the Saints' 2013 53-man roster will look like?

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