Training camp is just weeks away and while this New Orleans Saints roster looks to be mostly set for camp which starts on July 19th for rookies and the 26th for veterans, this roster certainly is built much differently compared to the last couple seasons. With Malcolm Jenkins retirement, there are now no more players from the Super Bowl XLVI roster and with Sean Payton stepping down, only Dennis Allen, Pete Carmichael, Zach Strief and Brian Young remain on the coaching staff from that Super Bowl. That said, let's start this 2-part series with the offensive side of that ball which certainly has changed night and day compared to last season.
Quarterback: Jamies Winston, Andy Dalton, Ian Book (3)
Not much has changed with the Quarterbacks throughout mini camps. I still believe that these three guys will make the initial 53-man roster when week 1 starts. Dalton has made some good throws and seems to be the leading choice for the top backup spot, while Ian Book continues to grow and develop.
Running Back: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram III, Tony Jones Jr., Abram Smith, Adam Prentice (5)
As Anakin Skywalker once said, “This is where the fun begins.” Obviously, a lot of this will depend on what happens with Alvin Kamara and is legal situation. The league normally waits for the legal proceedings to wrap up before they hand down a suspension. If Kamara isn’t on the roster, I would expect them to still add another veteran running back or keep both Jones Jr. and Abram Smith, which could push a guy like Dwayne Washington out of the picture until Kamara comes back.
Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harty (5)
I decided to keep 4 tight ends instead of 6 wide receivers. This is a make-or-break camp for Tre’Quan Smith. He’s got to show something to keep a spot on this roster. His contract is something that the Saints can easily get out of and normally the team only dresses out 5 receivers on game days anyways. Each of these other players bring something different to the table and Tre’Quan is going to have to stand out. When Michael Thomas comes back, this will easily go from one of the worst wide receiver rooms last season, to now one of the best.
Tight End: Taysom Hill, Adam Trautman, Nick Vannett, Juwan Johnson (4)
Speaking of guys facing a make-or-break year, Adam Trautman could very easily be put in this very group. Last year, I feel we had slightly high expectations for the first-year starter. He flashed at some moments during the season and should be more comfortable heading into year 2. Juwan Johnson and Taysom Hill should provide a fun jolt to the position.
Offensive Line: James Hurst, Ryan Ramczyk, Trevor Penning, Landon Young, Andrus Peat, Cesar Ruiz, Erik McCoy, Calvin Throckmorton, Forrest Lamp (9)
No Terron Armstead, who was a staple for this unit since 2013 is truly wild but the line will be okay without him. Hurst and Penning will compete for the left tackle spot and having Throckmorton and Lamp take some center snaps during minicamp, will be a huge upside for both of them as versatility will be something that is well received. Landon Young should be more comfortable and simply play better after last season.
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