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Where Saints roster stands: Offense

An unofficial projection of where the New Orleans Saints offensive depth chart stands after the NFL draft and their undrafted free agent signings:

QB -- Drew Brees, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin, Garrett Grayson

RB -- Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller, Khiry Robinson, Tim Hightower, Edwin Baker, Marcus Murphy

FB -- Erik Lorig, Austin Johnson, Toben Opurum

WR -- Marques Colston, Joe Morgan, Brandon Coleman, Andy Tanner, R.J. Harris, Malcolme Kennedy

WR -- Brandin Cooks, Nick Toon, Seantavius Jones, Jalen Saunders, Willie Snead

TE -- Benjamin Watson, Josh Hill, Orson Charles, Harold Spears, Jack Tabb

LT -- Terron Armstead, Andrus Peat, Sean Hickey

LG -- Tim Lelito, Senio Kelemete, Doniel Gambrell

C -- Max Unger, Michael Brewster, Mike Golic Jr.

RG -- Jahri Evans, Andrew Miller, Cyril Lemon

RT -- Zach Strief, Bryce Harris, Nick Becton

Thoughts:

  • I expected the Saints to draft a receiver early, but depth isn't exactly the problem. As it stands now, Toon, Morgan, Coleman, Jones and others are probably fighting for just two active spots on game days. Where I see a bigger question mark is the No. 3 receiver job. The Saints are counting on Toon to be a legit option in that role since they didn’t wind up signing free agent Greg Jennings or drafting a top receiver. Toon showed glimpses of what he can be last year when he finally got a consistent opportunity to play, but he’s still relatively unproven heading into a make-or-break fourth NFL season.

  • I'm very curious to see how the Armstead-Strief-Peat job battle will play out. I think Armstead is the safest bet to stay put since he’s a young rising left tackle the Saints appear to be high on. I’m not erasing Strief from my depth chart anytime soon though. It’s entirely possible that Peat will need a year to develop as the backup swing tackle. Unfortunately, Strief’s long-term future appears to be in serious jeopardy unless the Saints consider moving one of these guys to guard (something coach Sean Payton said was not currently planned).

  • Speaking of guards, I also expected the Saints to draft one since they’re so thin on experienced talent at the guard/center positions behind Evans and Unger. But it wasn’t a “must” since the Saints do like Lelito, who has earned a shot at a full-time gig heading into Year 3, and Kelemete seems to be a decent backup option. Still, I have to imagine the Saints will at least cross-train one or two of their top tackles at guard in case of injuries.

  • I listed Grayson fourth at QB since that’s where he’ll probably begin the offseason until he proves he’s better than the guys who have been here for multiple years. But one way or another, Grayson’s roster spot is virtually guaranteed. I can’t say the same for McCown and Griffin.