3 Bold Predictions for the Saints Heading Into Training Camp
The New Orleans Saints will be entering a new era of football this fall with Sean Payton no longer leading the way. Dennis Allen has stepped up to be the head coach and joins other new faces like safety Tyrann Matheiu and wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Saints fans have high hopes for 2022.
Preparation for the upcoming season is already underway as New Orleans rookies reported to training camp on July 19. Veterans will soon follow to the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on July 26. Let's take a look at three bold predictions for the Saints heading into camp.
New Orleans Saints Training Camp
1. Justin Evans is Surprise Roster Cut
The Saints are as deep in the secondary as any team in the NFL. Matheiu and veteran Marcus Maye will be the starting safety duo, but the players behind them could start for many other squads. Daniel Sorenson flexed his versatility as a Kansas City Chief last season, J.T Gray made the All-Pro team in 2021 for his special teams efforts and Bryce Thompson has been praised as a minicamp star in New Orleans. That leaves Justin Evans battling it out against rookie Smoke Monday for a roster spot. I'll give the edge to the rookie here. Keep in mind Evans, a former second-round pick, is attempting to make a comeback after three years away from the NFL.
2. Trevor Penning Overtakes James Hurst at LT
There's no denying that James Hurst has proven to be a reliable left tackle for the Saints. The eight-year pro started all 17 games last season and allowed only 3.0 sacks across 941 offensive snaps. The front office didn't acquire an additional first-round pick and select Trevor Penning for no reason, though. Penning is a super physical run-blocker that can push opposing linemen backwards with ease. In fact, he earned a 90+ run blocking grade from ProFootballFocus (PFF) in nine of his 12 games in 2021. Hurst may be better off taking on a reserve role, anyways, given his capability to slide in at multiple positions.
3. Abram Smith Emerges as Best RB3 Option
A fight to be the No. 3 running back on a team with Alvin Kamara on it may not seem like a noteworthy storyline. Keep in mind Kamara may end up having to serve a suspension because of off the field issues, though. That would obviously push veteran Mark Ingram into the starting role and suddenly the backup spot is open. Tony Jones Jr. may be the favorite heading into training camp, but look out for undrafted rookie Abram Smith. The Baylor product excelled during his senior season, posting 1,725 yards from scrimmage on 270 touches (6.2 average) and 12 touchdowns. His aggressiveness could make a good impression on the coaching staff.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.