The New Orleans Saints are just five days away from the first preseason game of the 2022 season, and finally, we have a look at where each player fits into both units.
A majority of this depth chart is exactly what we thought we would see, especially on the defensive side of the ball. However, there are some interesting takeaways that show us how several position battles are progressing through training camp and into the preseason.
Below are the offensive and defensive depth charts that were released last night.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the initial depth chart:
1. James Hurst listed as LT1 over rookie Trevor Penning
This battle between Hurst and Penning was one of the most anticipated battles of training camp this year. Penning, drafted with pick number 19 in April, has proven himself in camp as a capable run and pass blocker. Although he clearly “has that dawg in him,” the veteran Hurst reigns supreme on the depth chart for now. This will likely be a battle that continues into the preseason games, and perhaps Penning will be a starter by the time week one rolls around.
2. Adam Trautman and Taysom Hill listed as Co-TE1
Tight end was another position without a clear starter heading into preseason. The two top candidates were Trautman, a third-year veteran and last year’s starter, and Hill, who was moved to tight end during the offseason. This listing as co-starters likely points to each player having different roles. Trautman will likely be a primarily receiving tight end, though he has proven his ability to be a solid blocker. Hill will continue to be involved in all sorts of offensive plays, continuing to switch between tight end and running back and quarterback.
3. Kaden Elliss listed as SAM1 over Zach Baun
When drafted in the third round of the 2020 draft, Saints fans had high hopes for Baun to evolve into a starter on the defense. It appears that this season, he will still be with the second team, this time underneath Elliss. Last season, Ellis made a huge jump in production, recording 17 total tackles compared to five in 2020. The 2019 seventh-round pick will look to have another improved season amongst an experienced linebacker crew. 4.
4. Chris Olave listed as third team WR
Sometimes, wide receiver placements on depth charts are a fickle thing, especially this one. According to Nick Underhill, Olave was Winstons’s top target in training camp. Don’t expect Olave to be this far down in the depth chart for the regular season. Hopefully, Allen allows the rookie to get some considerable playing time during the preseason.
MT on the expectations for the WR's: "Expectations are really high. Elite level. Elite room, to add those guys; Jarvis a technician, great leader on and off the field. Chris Olave playing big-time ball, playing championship level ball, being addicted to winning up there (at OSU)"— John Sigler (@john_siglerr) August 8, 2022
What depth chart decision surprises you the most? Let us know in the comments below.