There aren’t many surprises on the offensive side of the ball on the New Orleans Saints’ first unofficial depth chart. The thing that struck me most, though, is that second-year receivers Brandon Coleman and Seantavius Jones already are listed ahead of some more experienced veterans.
Coleman is listed as a second-teamer and Jones a third-teamer. That matches what we’ve seen in practice, but it’s telling that the Saints aren’t listing them lower while they pay their dues.
As I’ve written before, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coleman emerge as New Orleans’ No. 3 receiver by Week 1. The big, 6-foot-6, 225-pound target was off to a terrific start in the first few days of training camp before being sidelined with a minor, undisclosed injury. He’s been working his way back into the lineup in team drills this week.
Here are some other thoughts on the Saints’ first unofficial depth chart -- emphasis on the word unofficial:
First-round draft pick Andrus Peat is listed as the second-string right tackle, though the Saints are grooming him to be a top backup at multiple positions. He worked at left tackle last week, left guard on Sunday, then right guard on Monday.
The Saints have veteran Luke McCown listed ahead of Ryan Griffin at quarterback. They have younger fullback Austin Johnson listed ahead of veteran Erik Lorig. And they have kickers Zach Hocker and Dustin Hopkins listed as even with a slash mark. All are moot points, since all three of those battles are virtual ties heading into the preseason opener this Thursday at the Baltimore Ravens.
The Saints list C.J. Spiller and Brandin Cooks as their top two kickoff and punt returners. I’ll be surprised if we see either of them doing full-time duty in those roles though, since they’re so valuable on offense. I especially don’t expect to see Cooks returning many kickoffs.
Click here for a breakdown of the Saints’ defense. Here’s how the Saints listed the full offense and special teams:
FB: Austin Johnson, Erik Lorig, Toben Opurum
KR: Spiller, Cooks, Saunders, Murphy
PR: Spiller, Cooks, Saunders, Murphy
K: Zach Hocker/Dustin Hopkins