USA Today Sports

5 Saints to watch for in preseason game at Jacksonville

Steve Geller
August 09, 2018 - 8:04 am

Quarterback Taysom Hill

It is still early in training camp, but I would say Tom Savage has the edge right now for the #2 QB gig behind Drew Brees. He’s just been more accurate than Taysom Hill.  The back-up battle will be determined on what happens in an actual game vs. practice, though. Hill’s biggest asset is his mobility. That “escapability” can help to extend a play or even result in a big run. Hill also uses those quick feet to be a real difference-maker on special teams. He has no fear when it comes to making a big tackle.

Running backs Jonathan Williams/Trey Edmunds/Terrance West

I cheated here a bit since I really have no idea who is going to be the guy to fill the void during Mark Ingram's four game suspension. This has been the toughest position for me to gauge during camp so far. Last season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara will likely see a few more touches come week 1, but Coach Payton has noted that he doesn’t want to wear him down. I have really like what rookie Boston Scott has shown so far, but I don’t think he is the same type of bruising back Ingram is.  Neither is veteran Shane Vereen.  

Cornerback De’Vante Harris

Harris has been a takeaway machine at practice, but we tend to joke around in the media that he is “Mr. All-Metairie” since he only has showcased that ability on Airline Drive during camp. Do you remember he actually won the starting corner job opposite Marshon Lattimore last year over Ken Crawley?  That lasted a whole two games before the switch was made. Latimore, Crawley and Patrick Robinson are sure things to make the team. Harris was an undrafted pick up out of Texas A&M in 2016, and I think needs to do something in preseason play in order to stick around.

Tight end Dan Arnold

There was some buzz surrounding undrafted free agent Deon Yelder coming into camp since the Saints gave him a $90k in guaranteed money to sign with the team, but Arnold has been the stand-out pass catching TE at practice. He was on the team last year but was sidelined due to injury. The wide receiver has bulked up some and converted to tight end. I’ve been impressed with his vacuum-cleaner like hands that have sucked in passes thrown his way, and he could end up being the pass catching threat at TE the team is looking for along with Benjamin Watson.

Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammed

The 2017 6th rounder led the team in sacks last preseason; and with rookie Marcus Davenport missing time with an injury, Muhammed has a small crack in the door to show he can be a rotational guy in the Black & Gold’s pass rush packages.. I want to see how much he’s grown and developed in year 2 after he spent the majority of the season on the inactive list. The defensive end position is more crowded than a year ago, though, with the rookie Davenport, All-Pro Cam Jordan, Alex Okafor, Trey Hendrickson and a healthy Mitchell Loewen, who also sees snaps on special team.​

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