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How Does A.T. Perry Impact the Saints Roster?

Perry joins a crowded wide receiver room.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at Wake Forest Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft wrapping up last the New Orleans Saints traded up in the 6th round selecting Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry. Many had Perry mocked as early as the back end of the second round/ top of the third. The Saints traded up with the Denver Broncos and in doing so sent tight end Adam Trautman to the mile high city. Perry has both NFL ready size and speed and the fact he was available in the sixth round makes no sense at all. Perry joins veterans Michael Thomas, Bryan Edwards, and Tre'Quan Smith. Plus, second year players Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. The wide receiver position has now become a strength for the Saints and Perry could very easily make his way on the roster.

Just by looking at the roster it’s pretty safe to assume Thomas, Olave, and Shaheed are locks to make the roster. That leaves veterans Smith, Edwards, Kirkwood, Merritt, and Baker not to mention bunch of undrafted rookies such as Shaq Davis, Sy Barnett, and Malik Flowers fighting for two or three spots. Given Flowers history as a return specialist and the Saints interest in expanding Shaheed’s role in the offense barring injury or poor play I like Flowers chances to make the roster as a return specialist. Perry on paper has everything you want in a NFL wide receiver size, speed, and his production in college was something to admire (two seasons 2,389 yards/ 26 touchdowns). The team does value the role Tre’Quan Smith plays as far as being a run blocker is concerned, however I see the Saints keeping 6 wide receivers has they have for the most part done the last couple seasons (2021 had 5 with Thomas on PUP/ had 6 to start 2022). Perry could very easily be the 6th receiver who makes this roster simply because if he is stashed on the practice squad other teams can sign him right away, but if his play outshines Smith and the others, he could be the 4th receiver on this roster behind Thomas, Olave, and Shaheed. At the end of the player Perry has all the tools to make an impact on an NFL roster and will make the wide receiver battle during training camp even more fun to watch.

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