The New Orleans Saints played their second preseason game of the year this past Friday against the Green Bay Packers, losing 20-10. However, despite the loss, there were still some bright spots for the Saints in terms of players really showing up on the field. There were also a few players who either did not improve their chances at the roster, or even worsened their chances as well.
In this article, I will be covering a total of 6 players, 2 of whom increased their chances at a roster spot, 2 who did not affect their chances much, and 2 who negatively impacted their odds. This will not include players who were already cut this week, which would be John Parker Romo, K.J. Costello, and Devine Ozigbo. So, without further ado, let's begin with the first group:
Trending up for a roster spot:
LB Jon Bostic
The Saints were able to sign veteran linebacker Jon Bostic last Monday prior to their preseason game 2, and boy did he play well in his first game with New Orleans. He was making plays across the field, and surprisingly was relatively quick moving sideline to sideline, which is really nice to see. With how injured the Saints have become in such a short time at linebacker, having a vet like Bostic around will definitely pay dividends. Bostic was able to make 6 tackles on the day which led the team, as well as deflecting a pass. Overall, Bostic definitely improved his odds at a roster spot this past Friday.
DL Taco Charlton
Taco Charlton overall had a good game in preseason week 2. The Saints signing this offseason was able to make some good plays across the field, having 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 QB hit. While he had a play or two where he would miss a tackle, overall, on the night he was effective, and truly looked like he could be a good addition to the final roster for the Saints at DL depth.
I would also like to mention a few other players who did not necessarily perform to the level of the two above but still trended upwards. These are LB Nephi Sewell, RB Tony Jones Jr, and LB Eric Wilson. Each of them were effective contributors in the second week of preseason and definitely increased their chances at a roster spot.
Chances remain unchanged:
WR Kirk Merritt
The first player who really did not change their odds much at a roster spot was Kirk Merritt. Kirk was absolutely phenomenal in the return game for the Saints in this game, returning 2 kickoffs for 84 yards, including a 59-yard return. He was also targeted twice in the game and caught neither, which granted, is not saying a ton when Ian Book is the one throwing you the ball. Overall, he had a decent game but did not significantly improve or decrease his chances at a roster spot.
RB Abram Smith
Another week, another mediocre performance from Abram Smith. After a pretty solid first week in preseason hampered by a fumble, he came back this week with 9 rushes for 25 yards (2.8 yards per carry average), as well as 3 receptions for 5 yards on 4 targets. Really nothing much to talk about here with Abram, his explosiveness is definitely not there, which could be due to the offensive line, or due to just him struggling. Right now, I would say Smith likely will not make the roster unless he shows something exciting in preseason game 3.
Trending down for a roster spot:
QB Ian Book
We said it last week, we will say it again this week, Ian Book is doing horribly. While he did “improve” this game, he really did not do well and was holding back this offense heavily. The first thing we notice is he takes absolutely forever to drop back, which makes the offensive line’s job a lot harder considering he has a 3-5 second drop.
He showed a little bit on the ground with 7 rushes for 49 yards, but his passing left much to be desired with 113 passing yards on 16/28 completions, a touchdown, an interception, and another fumbled snap. The fumbled snaps are really getting the Saints in a bad spot in these games, as he has fumbled 3 now in 2 games. He was also sacked twice, primarily due to his drop back taking forever. With K.J. Costello gone, Book could still make the roster, but his chances definitely should be dwindling.
LB Zack Baun
This trending downwards for Baun is less due to his play in this game, and more just every other linebacker playing exceptionally well. Chase Hansen, Jon Bostic, Eric Wilson, Nephi Sewell, and Kaden Elliss are all viable options ahead of Baun, outside the obvious in Demario Davis and Pete Werner. While Baun was not horrible on Friday, he did not really do anything exceptional to hold his roster spot, and if he does not make a special teams impact it would be hard to find a roster spot for him frankly.