Aug 29, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Butler (17) runs past Miami Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer (24) on a touchdown play during a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

Deuce's Dimes: Saints receiver room getting crowded

Deuce's thoughts after the final preseason game

Seth Dunlap
August 29, 2019 - 11:55 pm

The preseason is officially, mercifully, over for the New Orleans Saints after their 16-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  Five weeks of practice, four games, and endless meetings and film study will now culminate in the team chopping down the roster to 53 players, the maximum allowed during the regular season.  

Those roster cuts will be especially hard at the wide receiver position, where the team has a bevvy of young receivers vying for a spot on the team.  It's a good problem for the Saints to have, especially after the team was noticeably thin at the position last season.  Only Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Tre'Quan Smith, and, presumably, Deonte Harris seem like sure bets to make the final roster.  That means there's likely only two, and in an unlikely scenario three, spots to be filled at the position.  Emmanuel Butler, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr, L.J. Humphrey, Simmie Cobbs, and Cyril Grayson Jr. have all flashed potential at times during camp, but they all won't make this roster.

Deuce McAllister, color analyst on the Saints Radio Network, pointed to Butler as a guy who may have helped his chances with today's performance.  Butler hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater in the first half, a much-needed highlight after he dropped a pass in the first half.

"He did have a drop, but he did have his first touchdown.  And for him to be able to get some confidence I think that was good," McAllister said on 'The Locker Room Show' after the game.

Humphrey also had a stand-out play in tonight's game, catching a 43-yard ball from Bridgewater for a big play in the first half.

"Where does he fit in on this team?" McAllister asked of Humphrey.  "If you can continue to develop him as a receiver, I think there's a place for him on (the roster)."

Then there's Harris, who has such a choke-hold on the returner jobs that the Saints didn't even bother putting him out there on special teams tonight.  He's been one of the surprising breakout players during the preseason, and will be another tool for Sean Payton to tinker with during the season.

"He has solidified that position," McAllister said of Harris' hold on the return jobs.  "He just needs to get more comfortable catching the ball."

Now, Payton and his staff must decide how to trim down the roster.  But one thing's for sure, according to McAllister.

"That wide receiver room is going to be crowded."

Elsewhere, both Bridgewater and Taysom Hill had nice nights for the Saints.  Each quarterback led their team on scoring drives, and both were accurate and effective throwing the ball.  McAllister singled out Hill for praise, and spoke about his development as a passer.

"He was more comfortable, as far as quarterback is concerned.  And obviously he made some throws.  You can really see the progression, year to year growth."

Finally, there was a pleasant lack of major injuries during the game. The Saints should be relatively healthy heading into their regular season opener against the Texans in 10 days.

"We saw a couple of guys banged up.  Colton Jumper got banged up.  Patrick Robinson left because of an ankle (injury).  We'll see how things shake out for both of those guys.  Other than that you didn't see any major injuries.  I think that's what you're pleased about.

Listen to McAllister's full post-game breakdown in the podcast below.

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