Saints roster breakdown: Offensive line

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
8:00
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A position-by-position look at the New Orleans Saints' 90-man roster heading into the start of training camp. Players report on Thursday and will hold their first practice Friday at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.

Current depth chart:

Left tackle: Terron Armstead, Bryce Harris, Tavon Rooks

Right tackle: Zach Strief, Ty Nsekhe, Thomas Welch

Left guard: Ben Grubbs, Senio Kelemete, Manase Foketi

Right guard: Jahri Evans, Marcel Jones, Jason Weaver

Center: Tim Lelito, Jonathan Goodwin, Matt Armstrong

Gone from last year: C Brian de la Puente, OT Charles Brown

lastname
Goodwin
Lelito
Key roster battles: The main focus here will be on the center position, which is one of a very few actual wide-open battles for a full-time starting job. Perhaps Lelito's youth and potential give him a slight edge over Goodwin, but I believe it’s awfully close to 50-50 heading into the start of camp. Chances are, they will both make the team since either one could be used as a reliable “swing” backup at guard and center.

The other four starting jobs are locked down. And I think Harris is also cemented as the top backup at offensive tackle -- especially now that he is being cross-trained at left tackle.

Beyond those top seven, it’s a wide-open battle for one or two more spots on the 53-man roster. The rookie Rooks probably has the best chance since the Saints invested a sixth-round pick in him and like his growth potential. But I’m not sure how significant his recent injury is since the Saints haven’t revealed any details.

Fellow rookie Armstrong has potential to stick since he was one of the Saints’ most highly rated undrafted pickups. And the Saints have always liked Jones’ potential since drafting him in the seventh round in 2012. But this is probably a make-or-break camp for Jones, who hasn’t cracked the 53-man roster yet. Maybe the switch from tackle to guard will help prove his versatility and value.

Otherwise, the Saints have a handful of veterans with some limited NFL experience that they brought in this offseason as alternative options.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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