Saints' 53-man roster light on surprises, heavy on defensive line

Al-Quadin Muhammad and Alex Okafor are among the 10 defensive linemen the Saints have on their 53-man roster. Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

Here's a look at the New Orleans Saints' roster after Saturday's initial cut down to 53 players. Keep in mind, it will almost certainly change before they kick off next Monday night in Minnesota.

Cornerback Delvin Breaux could be placed on short-term injured reserve, which would open up an extra roster spot. And the Saints could look to add players cut by other teams around the league.

QUARTERBACKS (2): Drew Brees, Chase Daniel

No surprises here as young backups Garrett Grayson and Ryan Nassib didn’t do enough to force their way onto the roster. Sean Payton said the Saints will likely keep a third QB on the practice squad, though.

RUNNING BACKS (5): Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, Daniel Lasco, Trey Edmunds

Edmunds, an undrafted rookie, was probably the biggest surprise of the day -- but he had apparently stood out enough on special teams to earn his place. It will be interesting to see if veteran Travaris Cadet gets picked up by another team. Otherwise he feels like a player who could return down the road. Undrafted rookie Darius Victor is a good bet to make the practice squad.

FULLBACK (1): John Kuhn

Easy choice -- and a good sign that he’s healthy enough for Week 1.

WIDE RECEIVER (4): Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon Coleman, Tommylee Lewis, (*-Willie Snead suspended for three games)

Four is a low number, but the Saints typically only use four receivers as pass-catchers on game days. In the past, guys who made the team as fifth or sixth receivers were basically special teams specialists.

TIGHT END (3): Coby Fleener, Josh Hill, Michael Hoomanawanui

Another position where the Saints went with the minimum, but three is enough unless they find one they really like from another team.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Max Unger, Zach Strief, Andrus Peat, Larry Warford, Ryan Ramczyk, Terron Armstead, Senio Kelemete, Josh LeRibeus

Armstead won't be ready to play in the first few weeks, so the Saints could look to bring back a veteran like Bryce Harris or sign a lineman cut by another team in the meantime.

DEFENSIVE LINE (10): Cameron Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, Alex Okafor, Tyeler Davison, David Onyemata, Trey Hendrickson, Hau'oli Kikaha, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Darryl Tapp, Mitchell Loewen

Ten is a big number, but it's also the number I predicted because of the young depth the Saints stockpiled this year. End Obum Gwacham and tackle John Hughes had good cases to make the team, too.

LINEBACKER (6): A.J. Klein, Manti Te'o, Alex Anzalone, Craig Robertson, Nathan Stupar, Stephone Anthony

The position group that caused the biggest waves over the past two days, with the decisions to keep Anthony and cut Michael Mauti and Adam Bighill. The Saints weren't ready to give up on Anthony yet, but it will be interesting to see how quickly the former first-round pick returns from an unspecified injury and whether he can help on special teams.

CORNERBACK (6): Marshon Lattimore, Delvin Breaux, P.J. Williams, Sterling Moore, Ken Crawley, De'Vante Harris.

Payton suggested that Breaux will likely be placed on injured reserve with his broken fibula, which means he can't practice for six weeks and can't play in a game for eight. There were no big surprises on this list -- though I did think undrafted rookie Arthur Maulet had a chance to make it.

SAFETY (5): Kenny Vaccaro, Vonn Bell, Marcus Williams, Rafael Bush, Chris Banjo

Easy choices, no surprises.

SPECIALISTS (3): P Thomas Morstead, K Wil Lutz, LS Jon Dorenbos

Easy choices, no surprises -- though it wouldn't be crazy for the Saints to consider a long snapper cut by another team after they just traded a 2019 seventh-round pick for Dorenbos.