A way-too-early final Saints roster prediction
We're just under four months from the start of the 2020 New Orleans Saints season, at least that's what we're hoping for. The NFL plans to start things on time, but is prepared to make adjustments if things don't get better from COVID-19. We're going to have a long wait before we get to any action without a spring offseason program, and then we have no idea what training camp will look like for the Saints. Needless to say, there's a lot of void left behind because of it. Like we did for the game-by-game predictions, we look at what the final roster could be like for New Orleans.
Full disclaimer. It's hardly rocket science coming up with at least the top 40-45 roster spots for the Saints. They have an incredible roster that's loaded with exceptional talent, and the majority of it is back from last season. As we know, making the final roster is not concrete. Some players in the past have made the team only to get cut right after. With all that being said, here's your way-too-early Saints squad for 2020.
Quarterback (3): Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, Jameis Winston
Running Back (3): Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Dwayne Washington
Fullback (1): Michael Burton
Wide Receiver (5): Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Maurice Harris
Tight End (3): Jared Cook, Josh Hill, Adam Trautman
Offensive Line (9): Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk, Nick Easton, Will Clapp, Ethan Greenidge, Calvin Throckmorton
There's hardly any surprises here. Players like Tony Jones Jr. and Ty Montgomery could push someone like Dwayne Washington, but it's one of those situations where it's Washington's job to lose. If Montgomery can latch on quickly, then the Saints could keep a fourth running back. History suggests they won't, and that's where another offensive lineman comes into play. It's anyone's guess as to who will be the fifth wide receiver will be. For some reason, I really like Maurice Harris as the dark horse.
Defensive Line (10): Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Trey Hendrickson, Carl Granderson, David Onyemata, Malcom Brown, Sheldon Rankins, Shy Tuttle, Taylor Stallworth, Mario Edwards Jr.
Linebacker (6): Demario Davis, Kiko Alonso, Alex Anzalone, Zack Baun, Craig Robertson, Kaden Elliss
Cornerback (5): Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, Patrick Robinson, P.J. Williams, Justin Hardee
Safety (5): Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, J.T. Gray, Saquan Hampton
Veterans like Noah Spence and D.J. Swearinger certainly have a big opportunity to crack the roster, but going with what feels familiar looks to be the best decision right now. When you really look at it, it's crazy to think there would only be two new faces on defense with Malcolm Jenkins and Zack Baun. Undrafted rookies can absolutely make the team, so Gus Cumberlander and Malcolm Roach can be this year's Shy Tuttle, but it's way too early to give them a vote of confidence. The same goes for Joe Bachie, Tino Ellis, and Keith Washington.
Special Teams (3)
Kicker (1): Wil Lutz
Punter (1): Thomas Morstead
Long Snapper (1): Zach Wood
Special teams matter. Wil Lutz, Thomas Morstead, and Zach Wood seem like an inseparable trio. Deonte Harris will be your return man, to the surprise of no one.