A breakdown of the New Orleans Saints’ draft class and its progress after two weeks of training camp:
Marshon Lattimore, CB, first round (No. 11 overall): Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for the full-scale rollout of the Saints’ top draft pick since he has been sidelined for the last two weeks with a minor knee injury. But he has returned to individual drills this week, and he still has time to prove he can step into a starting job if he develops quickly. Lattimore's dynamic speed has been evident this summer, and he had a standout day during the June minicamp when he got a chance to work with the first string. But for the most part, he has been working with the backups and dealing with the highs and lows you’d expect from a rookie cornerback.
Ryan Ramczyk, OT, first round (No. 32): Another injury bummer -- Ramczyk missed nearly a week of practice with an unspecified injury issue so we didn’t get to see him face off against the No. 1 pick in the draft, Cleveland’s Myles Garrett, in the preseason opener. The good news is he should run into last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Joey Bosa, when the Saints have joint practices and a game this week against the Los Angeles Chargers. Ramczyk has been thrown into the fire as the Saints’ starting left tackle since veteran Terron Armstead suffered a shoulder injury in June. But that’s largely because he needs all the reps he can get after missing almost all of OTAs and minicamp while recovering from January hip surgery. He’ll still have to prove he’s worthy of the job. Line coach Dan Roushar said he loves Ramczyk’s potential and his coachability, but he still needs to show rapid improvement -- especially in pass protection.
Marcus Williams, S, second round (No. 42): Williams had a couple of flash plays last week -- including a big-time interception against Drew Brees in 7-on-7 drills. And he had some nice moments in his preseason debut. Snaps might be hard to come by at the crowded position, which also includes returning starters Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell and veteran backup Rafael Bush. But the Saints will certainly find a way to get Williams on the field if he keeps making impact plays. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder earned a reputation as a ball-hawking center fielder with five interceptions in each of his past two seasons at Utah.
Alvin Kamara, RB, third round (No. 67): The dynamic runner/receiver has been turning heads on the practice field -- and he lived up to the hype in his preseason debut with impressive runs of 12 and 22 yards with the starting unit. The Saints traded up to draft the 5-foot-10, 215-pounder with visions of him in a “joker” role similar to Darren Sproles and Reggie Bush. It’s hard to predict too many carries for him as a rookie since he’s behind veterans Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson in the pecking order. But if he continues to shine, the Saints will find creative ways to use him.
Alex Anzalone, LB, third round (No. 76): The 6-3, 240-pounder has flashed often throughout training camp, showing his athleticism while chasing down runners, sticking with guys like Kamara in pass coverage and occasionally getting to the quarterback. Coach Sean Payton said Anzalone has had his share of “knucklehead” moments, too, though. And so far he remains behind veteran Craig Robertson on the depth chart at the weakside linebacker spot. But Anzalone could definitely break into a bigger role if he keeps developing and sheds the injury troubles that plagued him in college.
Trey Hendrickson, DE, third round (No. 103): Here's another rookie who missed about a week (including the preseason opener) with an unspecified injury before returning to individual drills Monday. The 6-4, 270-pounder had a couple flash plays early in training camp, but he hasn’t shown enough consistency to threaten for a major role yet. And in fact, sixth-round DE Al-Quadin Muhammad is threatening to pass him up on the pecking order after a strong week. But it's still very early.
Al-Quadin Muhammad, sixth round (No. 196): Muhammad was off to a quiet start in camp before he put together a nice stretch last week -- highlighted by his half-sack in the preseason opener at Cleveland. Payton said Muhammad (6-4, 250) plays with more power than expected and credited him for working through the grind -- and staying healthy -- through the first two weeks of camp.