NEW ORLEANS – Boston Scott made it and Jonathan Williams didn’t.
Will Clapp and Cameron Tom made it and Jose LeRibeus and Rick Leonard didn’t.
Austin Carr made it and Brandon Tate didn’t.
Dan Arnold made it and Michael Hoomanawanui went on IR.
Devaroe Lawrence was traded to Cleveland and that opened a spot for Taylor Stallworth.
Nate Stupar’s huge game in the preseason finale squeezed Jayrone Elliott off the roster.
Arthur Maulet and Justin Hardee held off challenges from draft choices Natrell Jamerson and Kamrin Moore.
And speaking of draft choices, defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad was released, becoming the first of the seven picks from the Saints’ remarkable draft class of 2017 to be released.
Linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, a No. 2 in 2015, also was released.
Those were the biggest headlines coming out of the New Orleans Saints two-day adjustment of their roster to reach the regular-season maximum of 53 players. There might be other changes to come and the Saints will start building a 10-player practice roster Sunday.
There were no shocking moves as there seldom are, but there were a few surprises.
Williams seemed like a strong candidate to fill in while Mark Ingram is suspended for the first four games. Obviously the Saints were more impressed by Scott, the rookie sixth-round draft choice from Louisiana Tech, and understandably so.
New Orleans has only Scott and Trey Edmunds behind Alvin Kamara, so this is a position where it might add someone before the season opener next Sunday against Tampa Bay. The Saints could try and get by with this threesome while Ingram is out and expand the group to four when he becomes active. That would almost certainly mean someone other than a running back would be released to make room for Ingram because they don’t figure to go through the entire season with just three running backs.
BTW, as expected, Zach Line, is the only true fullback, though Edmunds has added that to his repertoire.
The release of LeRibeus was a surprise even though both Clapp and Tom had good preseasons. The current roster means Jermon Bushrod likely will be the top reserve at every position except center and the backup there will be have no game experience.
It was a bit surprising that Tate was released and that both Carr and Tommylee Lewis made it at wide receiver.
Coach Sean Payton said Tate was signed early in training camp to try and improve the return game. He looked solid there, but Scott and Lewis are both capable as returners and younger, plus Lewis’ speed and quickness provide a different dimension at wide receiver as does Carr.
Rookie defensive back J.T. Gray was to this year’s roster what Edmunds was to last year’s in the sense that they both flew under radar for virtually the entire preseason only to find themselves with a job in the end.
And after that exceptional draft in 2017, the Saints have already released three of their picks from 2018 though Leonard, Jamerson and Moore are all practice roster possibilities.