Mandatory minicamp is around the corner for the Saints, and it'll be here before you know it. The three-day event is slated for June 15-17, but we aren't quite sure what that will look like exactly. However, it's one step closer in the right direction of the 2021 NFL season. This lull in the NFL calendar year can be passed with a lot of different things, so why not make it fun with a June roster prediction?
Full disclaimer. It's June. We should not assume much and operate under the belief that we know very little about what the Saints will look like come September. We also should take into account that making the final roster can be a false sense of security. Some players in the past have made the team only to get cut right after.
Here's your way-too-early 2021 Saints roster.
Quarterback (3): Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Ian Book
Running Back (4): Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Ty Montgomery, Dwayne Washington
Fullback (1): Alex Armah
Wide Receiver (5): Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith, Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, Kawaan Baker
Tight End (3): Adam Trautman, Nick Vannett, Garrett Griffin
Offensive Line (9): Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk, James Hurst, Will Clapp, Ethan Greenidge, Landon Young
It's hard to put together a roster projection without seeing Drew Brees on there to lead it off. There's not many surprises when it comes to projecting the offense. One note regarding the receivers and tight end group that could happen involves Juwan Johnson or Lil'Jordan Humphrey making the final squad as a fourth tight end or sixth receiver. There's some intrigue regarding the final one or two offensive linemen. Ethan Greenidge could get pushed by Landon Young, which would open the door for another guard instead of a tackle. Regardless of position, remember that most of those guys will have some versatility to their game.
Defensive Line (9): Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Carl Granderson, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Payton Turner, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle, Malcolm Roach, Jalen Dalton
Linebacker (6): Demario Davis, Zack Baun, Pete Werner, Kaden Elliss, Chase Hansen, Andrew Dowell
Cornerback (5): Marshon Lattimore, Paulson Adebo, Patrick Robinson, Ken Crawley, Grant Haley
Safety (5): Malcolm Jenkins, Marcus Williams, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, J.T. Gray, P.J. Williams
For starters, there's a strong possibility that New Orleans adds some players defensively in the next couple of weeks who would have an ideal chance to make the roster over some of these guys. Some will forget that Jalen Dalton was standing out in training camp before suffering an unfortunate season-ending triceps injury. Competition is wide open on the defensive interior, so there's cases to be made for players like Ryan Glasgow and Josiah Bronson.
Dowell would get my early vote as the last linebacker, but again, this position will have some competition. Cornerback feels like a spot where the Saints could add a veteran, but looking at what they've done up to this point, veterans like Robinson and Crawley would get the nod.
Special Teams (3)
Kicker (1): Wil Lutz
Punter (1): Blake Gillikin
Long Snapper (1): Zach Wood
We'll have an actual punter battle for the first time in forever for the Saints, as Nolan Cooney looks to push favorite Blake Gillikin to win the job. Return duties should stay with Deonte Harris, but look for what Kawaan Baker could bring to the table if Harris takes more of an offensive role in 2021.
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