NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -Take One: Ken Crawley sticks
As the preseason progressed and it was clear that Patrick Robinson was struggling playing outside, there was a buzz building that perhaps Crawley could sneak on. To his credit, Crawley kept his head down and worked despite being a long shot. It paid off for him as he earned his spot for now.
Crawley has a full season of starts under his belt and may be more valuable than Robinson given that the Saints could still use C.J. Gardner Johnson at nickel. Robinson’s contract prevented him from being released.
Take Two: Kirkwood and Carr win WR competition
The Saints went with the names they trusted in the most intense competition of training camp. At no point did it ever feel like Carr nor Kirkwood ’took over’ in camp, but they do have experience in this system. That trust matters to Drew Brees and Sean Payton, and it’s a big reason why both are still around.
Take Three: Emmanuel Butler waived
A big shock here. Honestly, I thought Butler was on and the final spot was out of the two receivers above. Butler had two bad drops in two games but also bounced back to be productive. The Saints want him back on the practice squad; we’ll see if he makes it through.
Take Four: Tackles and tight ends
In my final projection, I said third tight end was the move I was least confident in. It turns out the Saints didn’t keep a third around, for now. Of all the players I thought A.J. Derby was the most consistent but a case could have been made for Dan Arnold and Alize Mack. I don’t think this position group remains this way for long. My guess is the Saints will add another tight end soon.
Reserve tackle is the biggest weakness on the team as it currently stands. The Saints kept Patrick Omameh and Ethan Greenidge at the position for the initial roster, but I truly believe it will not remain this way.
Take Five: Other Observations
- The Saints chose J.T. Gray over Chris Banjo for their special teams safety. This was a surprise move and a little risky, in my opinion. Banjo was a key player on several big special teams plays last year and can contribute at safety.
- Mack was the only draft pick from the ’19 class to not make the initial roster.
- Kudos to the Saints for not overthinking the Marcus Sherels vs Deonte Harris battle. Harris deserved it and dominated the competition.
- Devine Ozigbo looked like he had done enough to earn that third running back spot. Apparently, the coaches felt the trust they had in Dwayne Washington was more valuable. Washington’s special teams ability can’t be ignored. Ozigbo would be an ideal practice squad player.
- The Saints went with six defensive tackles but only five will count on the 53 for opening day with David Onyemata suspended. The biggest surprise of the group had to be Shy Tuttle.