Projecting the Saints 53-Man Roster: Running Backs
With Training Camp on the horizon and roster cuts beginning, the Saints final 53-man roster becomes clearer. But what surprises cuts will happen and which players will sport the Black and Gold this fall? The Saints News Network provides its projections for the Saints RBs.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS RUNNING BACKS
- Alvin Kamara
- Latavius Murray
- Ty Montgomery
- Dwayne Washington
- Tony Jones, Jr. *Rookie*
LOCKS AT RUNNING BACK
Alvin Kamara, 4th NFL Season
2019 may have been a less productive year than normal for Kamara, but he still put up 1,300 scrimmage yards and catch 81 passes for the third consecutive season. Putting a season of nagging injuries behind him, analysts project Kamara to be among the league's best running backs in 2020. Playing for a new contract and continued conditioning with Dr. Reef should have Saints fans excited to a bounce-back year for a healthy Alvin Kamara.
Latavius Murray, 8th NFL Season
Murray started his first season with the Saints with a literal bang, scoring the team’s first TD of 2019. Starting eight games for the injury-riddled Alvin Kamara, Murray put together his best stretch of games at the end of October. Murray strung together back-to-back weeks of 100-yard rushing and multiple TDs against the Bears and Cardinals.
Ty Montgomery, 6th NFL Season
One of the most underrated signings of the NFL offseason might be RB/WR Ty Montgomery. The former All-American WR at Stanford transitioned to RB in his second NFL season. The versatile offensive threat played less than 15% of the New York Jets offensive snaps in 2019 and should be hungry for a larger role this season. Montgomery is a perfect mold of a Sean Payton “Scat” back (i.e., Bush, Sproles, Thomas, Kamara) and will be utilized accordingly. Saints fans should be excited for Montgomery's role, regardless of how big or small it may be.
ON THE BUBBLE AT RUNNING BACK
Dwayne Washington, 5th NFL Season
The special teams standout in 2019, Washington has an uphill battle to secure a spot on the Saints 2020 roster. In two years with the Saints, he has managed only 35 rushing attempts for 214 yards as the third RB on the depth chart. Without a major role in the offense, Washington played 64% of the Saints Special Teams snaps last season, registering 3 tackles and a blocked punt. Playing over 450 Special Teams snaps over the last two seasons, Washington proves to be an important player and has served as an emergency option at RB. With the addition of Montgomery to the Saints roster, Washington loses the “emergency option” role. Thus, leaving the Saints the decision to make. Is Washington a vital enough player on Special Teams to keep him on the roster?
PROJECTED CUT OR PRACTICE SQUAD RUNNING BACK
Tony Jones Jr., 1st NFL Season
A heavily recruited RB out of IMG Academy, Jones Jr. spent only one season as the starting RB at Notre Dame. At 5’10, 220 LBs Jones Jr. looks the part of a bruising NFL running back but struggled to find consistency at Notre Dame. In order to make the Saints’ 53 man roster, the St. Petersburg native will have to improve as a pass-catcher and running outside the tackles. With loads of depth behind him and a one of a kind offseason because of COVID-19, it would take an incredible camp to see him make the roster. However, Sean Payton enjoys keeping RBs on the practice squad. Jones Jr. could sneak-in as one of the additional ten players on the practice roster.
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