Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Tanner Lee (3) is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence (68) in the second half of the game at TIAA Bank Field.

USA Today Sports

5 Players to watch in Saints' game against the Chargers

Steve Geller
August 24, 2018 - 5:31 pm
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Marcus Davenport

All eyes will be on the Saints first round draft pick since he missed the first two preseason matchups with an injury. The 6'6", 265 pound defensive end was back at practice this week against the Chargers and while he won’t get a ton of reps, everyone is anxious to see how he handles his first NFL action. Luckily, he has had a good mentor to guide him in All-Pro Cameron Jordan. 

Tre’Quan Smith

This rookie wide receiver came out the gates blazing and hasn’t stopped. Smith has shined throughout camp and led the team in receiving yards in each of the team's first two preseason matchups. Will he get some reps with the first team offense Saturday night? Would love to see him get some time with Drew Brees under center. Smith has looked like the team’s 2nd best WR. 

Jayrone Elliott

This 26 year old linebacker spent his first 3 seasons in Green Bay and had a coming out party in a Saints uniform in preseason game #1 with 2.5 sacks against the Jaguars. He wasn’t able to follow up that performance up though as Elliot didn’t even register a tackle against the Cardinals in game 2. The Saints are deep at LB so he needs to show something more in game action if he wants to stick on the roster. He does have being a contributor on special teams on his side. Elliot’s nickname is “Mr. Friendly” and that goes back to his high school days since he would help the quarterback up of the ground after registering a sack.

Devaroe Lawrence

Like Elliot I feel like Lawrence is on the roster bubble for the Black & Gold. He missed his final season at Auburn due to a knee injury but the Saints saw enough to sign him as he recovered, missing his entire rookie year.

"We felt he was athletic, explosive and we felt like he could recover," said Coach Sean Payton. "We saw traits that are hard to find sometimes for defensive tackles, and it's hard to find that position, especially after the draft."

Strength stands out when you watch Lawrence and he’s been active registering 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits, 1 pass defended and 7 tackles in the first 2 preseason games. This kid is a fighter and hasn’t given up on life after a rough childhood where he bounced around to different homes after his mother signed away her parental rights.

Taysom Hill

Last preseason game was ugly for Hill as he had 2 interceptions along with 3 fumbles. One of those fumbles ended up being recovered by the Saints, but a 4 turnover outing is hard to stomach. He definitely adds value to the coverage units on special teams, but I still want to see more of the quarterback. Hill has to prove he can be an NFL signal caller and not just a guy who takes off if his firs option isn’t open.  I know the Saints would like him to be the #2 guy behind Brees, but I still see the gig as Tom Savage’s to loose. Hill has 2 more preseason game though to show he more comfortable in the offense.

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