Overall, the Saints had a great game against the Raiders. They were nearly perfect in the first half, and had a couple brain farts in the second half, but I was very impressed with starters and the immediate backups. Be sure to refer back to my previous roster projections to compare the difference:
- Pre-Training Camp Roster Projection
- Training Camp Week Two Roster Projection
- Roster Projection After Saints Beat Chiefs
Drew Brees, Ryan Griffin
Analysis: I'm officially not confident in any of these back up quarterbacks. Seneca Wallace showed next to no poise in the pocket as he was scrambling around almost every snap against the Raiders' defense. He made several poor decisions and they ended up biting the team in the rear. Griffin, even though I'm not ecstatic about it, is still my guy for the job.
Running Backs (4)
Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Khiry Robinson
Analysis: Right off the bat, I can tell you that Travaris Cadet has probably worked his way off of the roster. He's just not fit to be a NFL running back.
Khiry Robinson, on the other hand, is a monster. This guy is going to be very special, and I'm proud to say that I've had him on all of my 53-man roster projections!
Analysis: No changes made to this position group.
Wide Receivers (6)
Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Preston Parker, Nick Toon, Andy Tanner, Kenny Stills
Analysis: This position group is starting to get really interesting. Nick Toon and Kenny Stills, two young guys that are expected to fill pretty hefty roles in 2013, both had good games versus the Raiders.
Preston Parker, a guy that has suddenly snuck into roster contention, is catching everything thrown his way. For that reason and the fact that he's done well in the return game, I'm swapping him with Steve Breaston. I was excited that the Saints brought him in, but he just hasn't shown me enough.
Tight Ends (2)
Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson
Analysis: Not too much from the tight ends against the Raiders, either. Jimmy Graham hauled in a couple of passes, but that's about it.
Offensive Line (9)
Charles Brown, Terron Armstead, Marcel Jones, Zach Strief, Jason Smith, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Andrew Tiller, Brian de la Puente
Analysis: Terron Armstead still has a lot to learn. He completely whiffed on a few blocks and was the guy responsible for the sack-fumble on Seneca Wallace. I would really like for at least one more tackle to be added to the roster for competition. I'm pretty concerned with the current guys behind Charles Brown and Zach Strief.
Defensive Line (7)
Cam Jordan, Glenn Foster, Isaako Aaitui, Tyrunn Walker, Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins, Brodrick Bunkley
Analysis: These guys are really getting me excited for the new 3-4 scheme. They pretty much shut down the run game versus the Raiders (62 yards on 22 carries) and brought tons of pressure to the quarterback (7 total sacks). The Raiders didn't get but one first down all game up until their drive before half, and that was large in part due to these guys.
Glenn Foster has worked his way into my 53-man roster projection with his great follow-up game. He showed great ability to get pressure up the middle and he has a good motor.
Is it just me, or is the starting lineup of Jordan, Hicks, and Jenkins making anyone else excited?
Martez Wilson, Eric Martin, Will Smith, Junior Galette, Rufus Johnson, Chris Chamberlain, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber, Curtis Lofton
Analysis: I hate to say it, but I think Jonathan Vilma's time in the Black and Gold is coming to an end. He's had too many knee surgeries and his body just isn't cooperating. I suspect David Hawthorne will take his place. He is more than capable of doing so, but he just has to get back to 2011 form.
Ramon Humber really stood out to me versus the Raiders getting a sack, being in a hell of a lot of tackles, and being the initial player who caused the safety. The performance wasn't bad from this group as a whole at all.
Keenan Lewis, Patrick Robinson, Jabari Greer, Corey White, Chris Carr
Analysis: I LOVED seeing all of Rob Ryan's exotic blitzes including the corners and safeties. Corey White was in the backfield quite a few times. He did miss an interception that bounced off of his hands, though. Other than that, it was a good performance by the Saints' secondary as a whole, as they allowed only 165 total passing yards.
Roman Harper, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Jenkins, Rafael Bush
Analysis: Harper and Bush were both in the backfield several times wreaking havoc versus the Raiders.
Vaccaro is impressing me a lot as well. He has great tackling technique, and he can cover well.
Special Teams (3)
Thomas Morstead (P), Garrett Hartley (PK), Justin Drescher (LS)
Analysis: Garrett Hartley had a good night, as he was perfect from 28, 30, 31, and 53 yards away.
What do you guys think the Saints' 2013 53-man roster will look like?