Training camp is around the corner on July 27th. The New Orleans Saints found ways to retool their roster this offseason, leading to many significant camp battle competitions. Some competitions will be for starting spots, but others will be for important backup roles. Here are some of the biggest camp competitions going into the 2022 training camp.
Left Tackle: Trevor Penning vs James Hurst
Probably the most important camp battle will be who wins the left tackle position. The Saints used a first-round pick to select Trevor Penning after losing All-Pro Terron Armstead. The bigger question will be whether Penning is ready to step in and become the full-time starter at the spot. Hurst has previous starting experience but obviously isn't their answer long-term. The excitement will be if Penning can sharpen his tools and try and take the starting spot. With help under Doug Marone, the hope for the Saints is that Penning can figure out how to play at the pro level fast.
RB 3: Tony Jones Jr, Abram Smith, Devine Ozigbo, Dwanye Washington
This is a position where the Saints have told us how they feel about it. They have brought into David Johnson, tried to sign Sony Michel, and plan to try out Darius Victor (the USFL’s offensive player of the year). The Saints have reason to doubt their running back depth, Kamara could be facing a suspension and Ingram is getting up there in age at 32 years old. With the two lead backs healthy and available, they could still use a third. It will be a battle for the third spot unless the Saints add another RB, which may seem like an option. Tony Jones Jr. and Abram Smith headline two guys who could land the third spot.
Defensive Tackle 2: Tuttle, Street, Johnson, Jackson, Roach, Huggins, Black
Defensive tackle two has been a position of question the past couple of seasons. It looks like it will be a committee of DTs pairing next to David Onyemata but who will take the next step. Tuttle, Roach, and Huggins all played a solid amount last season. The Saints added Kentavius Street early in the offseason, later signed Jaleel Johnson and drafted Jordan Jackson late. All three should compete for that spot as well. It is definitely the most crowded position battle going into camp.
The defensive backend will be interesting with a lot of new names. Roster locks are Marshon Lattimore, Paulsen Adebo, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Alontae Taylor, and Bradley Roby for the corners. Tyrann Mathieu, Marcus Maye, P.J. Williams, and J.T. Gray for the safeties. That will leave for an interesting battle for the rest of the spots. Daniel Sorenson will have to fight for a roster spot but another name to look out for is Smoke Monday. Maye could be facing a three-game suspension which could shake up the backend early. The secondary is one of the Saints' deepest rooms and is a great problem to have.