New Orleans Saints' projected roster

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
8:00
AM ET
Examining the New Orleans Saints' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)
I'm sticking with my pick of Griffin for the backup job, since I think he's been doing enough to prove he's poised and mature enough to handle the role. And if Griffin wins the backup job, that allows the Saints to just keep two quarterbacks. But I'm absolutely not counting out veteran Luke McCown, who played great the other night against the Tennessee Titans.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

I made the switch at fullback from Erik Lorig to Jones since we haven't seen Lorig on the practice field for two weeks. But until we know more details about the severity of Lorig's leg injury, it's impossible to predict whether he'll wind up on the active roster or injured reserve. If Lorig's injury is serious, either the veteran Jones or younger backup Austin Johnson could wind up replacing him. ... As I said last week, the four tailbacks are practically etched in stone.

RECEIVERS (6)

I felt bad about cutting Morgan from my 53-man roster last week. And I feel even worse after watching him have his best week of practice, followed by an outstanding performance in Friday's preseason game. Morgan sure looks healthy, which was the biggest question mark with him after he missed nearly a year with a major knee injury. ... I still think it will be hard for the Saints to keep so many veteran receivers, since they typically only keep four active on game days. But I'm not ready to prematurely cut any of them just yet after learning my lesson last week. ... If the Saints decide to keep a young receiver in a "redshirt" role, Seantavius Jones might be that guy. But the practice squad seems a more likely destination for Jones or Brandon Coleman.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

Last week, I added undrafted rookie Nic Jacobs when I cut Morgan. So this week I'm flip-flopping them again. I still like Jacobs' potential as a massive blocker and possible special teams asset. But there aren't a ton of open roster spots right now.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)

Another reverse flip-flop, with Jones replacing Senio Kelemete as my eighth lineman. Both guys have a great shot at the roster -- and both have gotten some great experience over the past two weeks while starters Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs have been sidelined with injuries. I went with Jones this time because I thought he played a little better Friday night and because he has more guard-tackle versatility. But it's close.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6)

No changes here, with all six of these guys practically written in ink. Versatile backups Rufus Johnson Jr. and Brandon Deaderick are also strong possibilities.

LINEBACKERS (10)

No changes here either. I made the tough decision last week to cut veteran Victor Butler, and he still hasn't returned to practice. Like Lorig, it's impossible to make an accurate prediction until we know more about the severity of Butler's injury. But with so many quality linebackers on this roster, Butler will have to come back quickly to cement his place.

CORNERBACKS (5)
Trevin Wade is another strong possibility -- especially with the Saints dealing with so many injuries at cornerback right now. As long as all five of these guys are healthy by Week 1, though, I'm leaving Wade in a "next man up" role on the bubble.

SAFETIES (5)

Undrafted rookie Pierre Warren has had a great camp and has a great shot at the roster. But he also just missed the cut because of the Saints' depth at this position. Both Sunseri and Ball have looked even better over the last week or two.

SPECIALISTS (3)

I'm sticking with Shayne Graham at kicker. He's had a couple hiccups this preseason/training camp, but he's been mostly solid and still seems more reliable than less-experienced backup Derek Dimke. It's far from over.

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

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