After a really slow start on both sides of the ball, the Saints worked themselves into a rhythm in route to their third preseason win to remain undefeated. 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
- Roster Projection After Saints Beat Raiders
Drew Brees, Luke McCown
Analysis: I really haven't been a big fan of Luke McCown, but I'm finally going to surrender my bias. He played a really good game against the Texans and showed that he can be accurate and chunk the rock downfield. A couple of his passes turned into really athletic catches, but he put them in a catchable place nevertheless.
Running Backs (4)
Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, Khiry Robinson
Analysis: I'm pretty annoyed that Coach Payton chooses to keep giving Cadet the ball when he has done nothing but squander his opportunities thus far. Maybe it's a little more bias inside of me, but I just don't think he's the guy. Khiry Robinson still takes the fourth and final running back position in my 53-man projection.
Analysis: Austin Johnson was the lone fullback versus the Texans, but I don't think that really made a difference with the coaches.
Wide Receivers (6)
Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Preston Parker, Nick Toon, Andy Tanner, Kenny Stills
Analysis: Preston Parker and Andy Tanner both have solidified themselves on the Saints' roster in my eyes with great preseasons. Stills is also playing like he will fill in for Joe Morgan quite nicely. He made a hell of a one-handed catch that went for forty yards while being blanketed next to the sideline. I wish Toon would've been able to produce a little more, but I'm not really worried about him.
The Saints have the deepest receiving corps in the NFL in my opinion.
Tight Ends (2)
Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson
Analysis: Not too much from the tight ends again versus the Texans. Graham and Watson both had a catch for a first down.
Offensive Line (8)
Charles Brown, Terron Armstead, Marcel Jones, Zach Strief, Jahri Evans, Ben Grubbs, Andrew Tiller, Brian de la Puente
Analysis: Justin Smith was cut from the roster this past week and I really don't expect for the team to fill in his spot with another lineman because of the poor talent. I suspect for them to add another defensive player, especially if Will Smith goes down for a while due to injury.
The offensive line looked a little shaky against the Texans as Drew Brees and Luke McCown were moving around in the pocket a lot. Surprisingly the interior line looked the "worst" of the group.
Defensive Line (6)
Cam Jordan, Glenn Foster, Tyrunn Walker, Akiem Hicks, John Jenkins, Brodrick Bunkley
Analysis: I pulled a fast one and decided to keep only two nose tackles on my roster predictions. Partly because John Jenkins and Brodrick Bunkley are anchoring the interior just fine, but mostly because Aatui has done absolutely nothing this preseason.
Glenn Foster continues to impress with his power and speed around the edge. Adding another sack to his résumé definitely helped his case to make the roster.
Martez Wilson, Eric Martin, Will Smith, Junior Galette, Rufus Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, David Hawthorne, Ramon Humber, Curtis Lofton, Kevin Reddick
Analysis: I made a couple changes to this position group. I started out by putting Vilma back on the roster. I may have gotten a little bit ahead of myself with his removal. I still fear that his injuries are piling on too quickly, though.
As one of my replacements, I decided to add inside linebacker Kevin Reddick. He could be a heck of a project that just needs to learn the ropes before he flourishes. He's a hard-nosed player that finds his way to the ball a lot. In a couple of years he should be wreaking havoc game-by-game.
Keenan Lewis, Patrick Robinson, Jabari Greer, Corey White, Chris Carr, Rod Sweeting
Analysis: With my other replacement I brought Rod Sweeting into my 53-man roster projections. You can never have enough cornerbacks on your roster and I think he has shown some potential so far this preseason.
I am cautiously optimistic about this group for 2013.
Roman Harper, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Jenkins, Rafael Bush
Analysis: I'm loving this Vaccaro kid more and more each game. I admit that I was hard on the pick at first, but now I'm eating my words and I'm gladly doing it. He is a monster tackler.
I liked seeing Harper blow up the Texan that he was covering even though the pass was incomplete. That isn't something that we saw from the team in 2012.
Special Teams (3)
Thomas Morstead (P), Garrett Hartley (PK), Justin Drescher (LS)
Analysis: Garrett Harley was perfect again versus the Texans with one long kick from 51 yards away. Maybe he has finally gotten rid of the yips? *Knocks on wood*
What do you guys think the Saints' 2013 53-man roster will look like?