Garic: Who's in and who's out in the Saints secondary

Kristian Garic
July 08, 2020 - 5:08 pm
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I know, I know it's hard to believe Saints training camp is three weeks ‪from this Thursday‬.  That's as it stands now.   Of course, I’m this Covid-19 altered state everything could remain the same or change in an instant.  We can't control what this virus does, but we can break down some interesting position battles to keep an eye on, when and if Saints training camp takes place.
 
Let's look at the Saints secondary. There are guys who are locks to make the roster, those on the bubble players, and long shot players.
 
Safety/CB
 
Locks to make the roster:
Malcolm Jenkins
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Marcus Williams
Marshawn Lattimore
Janoris Jenkins
PJ Williams
Patrick Robinson
Justin Hardee
J.T Gray
 
Bubble players:  
DJ Swearinger
Saquan Hampton: He's a better safety than JT Gray, but he can't beat Gray out on special teams.  It’s all a matter of what the Saints value more, a true safety or a hybrid safety who is great on special teams.  Another harsh reality for Hampton, he's a sixth round pick, and in the NFL, they always try to replace sixth round picks.
 
Long Shots:
Johnson Bademosi
Tino Ellis
Deatrick Nichols
Kieth Washington Jr
 
The Saints could keep nine to ten defensive backs depending on their depth at linebacker.  In the past they've kept ten.  As you can see, I anticipate the Black & Gold keeping ten players.  Unfortunately, DJ Swearinger, who is a fantastic player with years of experience as a starter, might end up being the odd man out.  
 
There are going to be highly recognizable players across the league, who are not going to make this Saints roster.  That's a good thing!  It's a testament to the depth of the Saints across the board.
 
Yes, it’s a harsh reality that teams are not being able to conduct off-season programs, and thereby are missing out on invaluable player evaluation times.  That, however, won't impact the Saints nearly as much.  This franchise is in a position where they probably feel like they could accurately project roster spots 1 through 47.  In other words there might only be six roster spots up for grabs.  
 
Several NFL teams that have gone through a coaching change, don't have the same luxury as the Saints.  They don't know their roster as well.  So again, this pandemic sucks, but it's given the Saints a ton of advantages in areas many aren’t thinking about.
 
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