After each New Orleans Saints preseason game, I will look at 6 fringe players and assess their likelihood of making the final New Orleans Saints roster based off of that game’s performance. Roster spot locks will not be considered as it’s already a given that players like Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Cam Jordan are going to make the team. That being said, here’s who trending up after Preseason Week 2...
Trending Up for a Roster Spot:
LB Manti Te’o
After signing a two-year $5 million contract this offseason, Te’o was all but guaranteed a roster spot, at least as a rotational player and special teamer. Even still, if other LBs on the roster outplayed Te’o during camp, his contract and role were not such that he was completely indispensable. After taking the opportunity to shine against his former team, Te’o logged a sack and recovered a fumble versus the Chargers. Not only does Te’o look like he’s locked down a roster spot, he’s all but certainly locked down a starting role with the linebackers.
S Chris Banjo
After back-to-back seasons of subpar special teams play, Banjo has shown an ability to keep opposing return men stopped after minimal gain. Called a “one man wrecking crew” on special teams, Banjo made two great stops on a punt and kickoff return. With Saints Head Coach Sean Payton emphasizing the importance of special teams this season, it would be a shock if Banjo didn’t find his way onto the Saints 53-man roster.
Chances Remain Unchanged:
QB Ryan Nassib
Nassib had a strong game against the Browns in the Saints’ first preseason game against the Browns, but had his share of struggles against the Chargers. If the Saints other backup QBs shined while Nassib struggled, that might have put a damper on his chances. But Nassib and Chase Daniel combined to go 13 of 27. Even with Nassib’s ill-timed pick-six, he still looks to make the roster as one of the Saints’ two backups over Garrett Grayson.
OL Bryce Harris
Another stinker with two more holding penalties and constantly getting beat by the opposing team’s second-stringers, and Harris remains a longshot to make the Saints team at this point.
Trending Down for a Roster Spot:
CB Damian Swann
Swann didn’t have a great game against the Browns in his first preseason action, but really put up a stinker in his second. Crucial penalties and blown coverage led to an earful from Coach Payton, and with the Saints having tons of bodies at Cornerback, Swann looks to be on his way out.
LB Stephone Anthony
Speaking of the Saints’ abundance of players at a position, the Saints seem to have plenty of potential linebackers, including the aforementioned Te’o. Anthony didn’t actually log a single snap against the Chargers, so how is it that he’s managed to lessen his chances of a roster spot? Well, frankly because the other Saints linebackers are playing well with their opportunities, like Te’o, Robertson and Klein.