ESPN’s Bill Barnwell decided to build the “perfect” NFL roster under the salary cap. You can view the rules he decided to set for himself here, but here’s the gist: he was going to use at least one player from each team and build a true-to-life roster of young players, veterans, back-ups, and specialists.
Two Saints made the roster, and the first should come as no surprise - WR Michael Thomas. Thomas made the starting trio of wideouts, along with Oakland’s Amari Cooper and New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. Tyrell Williams of the Chargers, Jeremy Kerley of the 49ers, and Mack Hollins of the Eagles round out the bench. Here’s what Barnwell says about the group:
We go three-deep with starting wideouts who can run the entire route tree while making the spectacular look mundane. Imagine lining Odell Beckham Jr., Amari Cooper and Michael Thomas in trips and daring teams to match up in man. With veteran wide receivers more expensive than ever, it's no coincidence that just one of our six wide receivers has made it to veteran free agency. (The lone exception, Jeremy Kerley, will serve as a useful slot target.) Tyrell Williams, who averaged 15.4 yards per catch last season, will be a big-play threat off the bench. And rookie Mack Hollins will fill in on special teams while he develops his receiving skills.
The second Saint to make Barnwell’s roster? A back-up Tight End, Michael Hoomanawanui. Surprising, right? The Hoo-Man makes the bench behind starters Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, former teammates in New England.