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Saints Practice Squad is Complete: Initial Reactions and Analysis

The Saints were not awarded any waiver players but on the other hand only one of the players the Saints waived signed elsewhere. Remember that players signed to a team’s practice squad can be signed away at any time to another team’s active roster. Here are the ten players the Saints had signed on to their practice squad and some initial thoughts on each.

WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Saints got two of the three players most Saints fans were hoping for. Lil’Jordan Humphrey struggled in camp but had a great preseason bringing in all four of his targets for 103 yards and a touchdown. He had a 158.3 passer rating when targeted and accounted for 2.18 yards per snap from the slot. That’s the sixth best mark for any receiver that took 30 or more slot snaps this preseason.

WR Emmanuel Butler

The Training Camp Darling of 2019 finds his way back to New Orleans via the practice squad. Butler had an outstanding training camp but a fairly quiet preseason. Despite that, he put on display all of the positive qualities he possesses and definitely deserves the nod being added to the practice squad. Looking forward to seeing him develop and I feel confident we will see him on the active roster before the season concludes.

TE Alizé Mack

Return of the Mack part 2. The Seventh-round draft pick was the only Saints selection that didn’t make the initial roster. He dealt with injuries early on in the preseason but made his way back with enough time to instill some confidence and it’s paid off with PS nod.

TE Dan Arnold

The Saints curiously only took two TEs into their initial 53. Releasing Arnold was one of the earlier surprises of roster cuts. Lots of Saints fans rejoiced in his release, but he definitely deserves more time to develop and learn a position he only began to play last season. The big question will be whether or not he can improve his hands and become a little more reliable in the passing game.

OL John Leglue

Leglue is a Tulane Green Wave product that played the preseason with the Denver Broncos. In college, he played both tackle and guard position. Leglue continued to show his versatility in the NFL this preseason playing 104 combined snaps at LT, RT, and RG allowing one sack and one hurry.

DL Mitchell Loewen

A familiar face returns to the Saints facility. You might remember that Loewen pulled a person from a car that plunged from a parking garage last offseason. Pretty dope. He’s proven to be a successful pass rusher in previous Saints preseason games and might be guy they want to focus on developing in place of UDFA rookies like Porter Gustin and Corbin Kaufusi. However, I could see Gustin landing a spot on the practice squad as well. According to Herbie Teope, Loewen had several offers but chose to come back to New Orleans.

RB Taquan Mizzell

This is more significant an addition than most are giving credit. Mizzell is an very reliable receiving back out of UVA. He spent 2017 with the Ravens, 2018 and the 2019 preseason with the Bears. 5’9″ 195 pounds, he’s quick and sure-handed. This preseason though he only ran for 13 yards, he added 92 through the air on eight catches. This is a great piece to add to the practice squad for a team like the Saints who love to throw to their backs. He’d fit right in depending on how quickly he grows into and learns the system. Chicago also played hi in the slot so it would make sense for the Saints to let him get some looks there as well.

OL Derrick Kelly

Derrick Kelly saw a lot of second teams naps during training camp which stands out as an UDFA. Kelly is versatile enough to play either tackle position and focus strictly on the RT assignments for the Saints this preseason. He played 83 snaps on the right side this preseason and allowed only one pressure which came in the final preseason game

DB TJ Green

Green was a unique addition to the Saints offseason roster. His size at 6’2″ 209 pounds is notable but perhaps more impressive is his athletic ability posting a 4.34 40 yard dash and 35.5″ vertical at his combine in 2016. Green was targeted 19 times and allowed only 11 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown this preseason. He added a pass break as well but it’s clear he could use some extra time working with the Saints coaching staff and Aaron Glenn in particular. That athletic profile is not easy to ignore. Green left the NFL last year after playing for the Seahawks but has revived his NFL career with New Orleans.

DB Terrell Williams

Speaking of size and athletic profile, Terrell Williams falls into that category as well. Williams stands 6’4″ tall and can move really well for his size. He’s an excellent tackler but is inconsistent in coverage. He didn’t give up a touchdown but did allow a catch on all three of his targets this preseason. Last season he played in one preseason game with the 49ers, breaking up both of his targets. He’ll be another player with outstanding natural tools that the Saints will look to improve through working with Aaron Glenn.