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Saints claim LB Michael Mauti, DE Obum Gwacham off waivers

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints added two more young defensive players off waivers on Sunday, claiming third-year linebacker Michael Mauti from the Minnesota Vikings and rookie defensive end Obum Gwacham from the Seattle Seahawks.

It’s unknown which two players will be removed from the 53-man roster to make room.

Mauti is a New Orleans-area native and son of former Saints wide receiver and special teams standout Rich Mauti. The 6-foot-2, 243-pounder has battled injuries throughout his football life -- including three torn ACLs while at Penn State and minor foot and knee issues last season. But he was praised as a backup linebacker and special-teams asset with the Vikings.

Mauti blocked and recovered a punt in the preseason finale earlier this week. He has a total of 15 tackles in 23 career regular-season games.

Gwacham is a raw, developmental athlete who was drafted by the Seahawks in the sixth round out of Oregon State this year. The 6-5, 249-pounder spent his first three seasons as a wide receiver and also was a high jumper on the track team. He converted to defense in his final college season and had four sacks.

That bio is reminiscent of another raw developmental project the Saints just gave up on -- cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste, a second-round pick in 2014 who also began his college career as a receiver. The Saints are hoping this experiment turns out to be more profitable, though the cost was much cheaper.

Meanwhile, two former Saints were claimed off waivers by NFC South rivals -- quarterback Ryan Griffin by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and offensive tackle Bryce Harris by the Atlanta Falcons.