Saints Pre-Game Rookie Report
By: Jordan Kliebert
The New Orleans Saints first pre-season game is Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Four rookies stand out among the seven on this squad. For the three that haven’t caught my eye in training camp, live snaps could be a way to catch the coach’s eye.
Stand Out Rookies:
92 DE Marcus Davenport – Davenport has struggled with staying healthy; I expect him to come back in week two of the preseason. However, I have him as a standout rookie because of his strength. Davenport brings something this D-line couldn’t go another year without and that is help for Cameron Jordan. At Times he’s shown the ability to get into the backfield and alter a running backs path. One play early in camp he got into the backfield and made Alvin Kamara bounce out his run further, allowing for LB A.J. Klein to come in and make what would have been a tackle for loss. Like Gus Kattengell host of the Sports Hangover says “I’m drinking the kool-aid” QBs should be scared.
30 RB Boston Scott – Obviously Scott isn’t going to be the starting RB, but watching this core of running backs is fun. I would like to see Scott involved in some screen plays because I can see him running it like Pierre Thomas. He has the size and agility to run the screen play to perfection getting in and out of those small holes.
10 WR Tre’Quan Smith – Smith is the Alvin Kamara for this 2018 season. When he steps on the field something is about to happen. I honestly do not remember watching him drop a pass in practice. That is more impressive than it sounds because this Saints defense has had more PBUs than I can keep track of. Don’t expect Smith to play much in the preseason.
64 C Will Clapp – Clapp is stepping in at left guard where there is a need. Starter Andrus Peat is recovering from a season ending injury and the team is bringing him back slowly. An injury to John Fullington who was seeing work at LG has opened the door for Clapp to play with the ones so it will be interesting to see what he does in an actual game.
Rookies Who Need to Improve:
27 DB Natrell Jamerson – Jamerson is the best out of these three players that need to improve. Although he has been burned multiple times by the WRs it’s small mechanics that if he changes he could be a decent DB in this league. One of those things is not turning his head while the ball is in the air. Jamerson and Clapp are the two players I will be evaluating the most Thursday outside of Tre’Quan Smith.
73 T Rick Leonard – I have not written one thing down about Leonard throughout training camp. I have to give him some slack, he is up against Jermon Bushrod, Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk and Michael Ola. However, that is no excuse to not have a handful of highlights from camp. Leonard will have to make a complete 180 in this first preseason game to make up for his training camp performance.
39 DB Kamrin Moore – Moore is another player that did not stand out at training camp. He has a long journey if he even wants to be considered as a backup DB. Competing with P.J. Williams, Arthur Maulet, De’Vante Harris who has recently improved and now Natrell Jamerson will be hard but we have seen players do better in game time situations than practice.
Saints fans we were spoiled last season with our rookies, but this class gives New Orleans the depth they have desperately needed.
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