Roster Battles Update Pt. 2
I already assessed the offense, so let’s get to the defense.
DL: There’s still heavy competition here. I think the team is close to establishing it’s three-man rotation at both end and tackle. Which basically may leave only one spot open for each position. I think at end, Simon Fraser is the front-runner since he can also shoot inside on passing downs. But Kroy Biermann has shown enough that I think the team would be hesitant to cut him since he may not pass waivers (A 3-4 team should be licking their chops to get Biermann). If Biermann continues to contribute, I think he’ll definitely make the roster, but perhaps not at the expense of Fraser. Inside, after you get past Stanley, Jackson, and Babineaux who appear at the top of the depth chart, I think Moorehead and Moore seem like the next best options. I’m not including Lewis because at this point, it looks likely that he’ll start the season on one of the reserve lists (PUP or IR) and he won’t count against the roster. Ideally, it will be the PUP so he can come back later in the year. Moorehead I would think is ahead of Moore and probably has the best chance to be the ninth defensive lineman.
LB: This position is no surprise and unless Pimentel, Brown, or Vaughn do something really big, I don’t see any of them making the roster. At this point, all they can do is push for a possible practice squad position. Taylor and Lofton are still in a competition for the starting position, and I think Taylor is ahead as of now, but Lofton still has two more games to shine.
CB: Houston still has time to make up for his absence and re-take his starting job away from Chevis Jackson. The battle here is for the possible fifth position after Blue Adams. I think Irons, Sharpe, and Fontenot are fairly even although Irons probably has the edge. But all three will have a chance to take the lead in these next two games.
S: Like corner, this position is still contested for a possible fifth safety spot. I think originally the team probably would have only kept four, but some of the young players have shown enough thus far in camp that they may keep an extra guy. After Milloy, Coleman, DeCoud, and Cooper, I think Stone and Harris are competing for that spot. Stone has shown nice ability thus far, and I think the team will be partial to keeping him around and developing him some more.
ST: No real battles here at kicker, punter, or long snapper. The battles is at returner. Jennings and Douglas are battling for the punt returner job, and Jennings is also battling Brown as a kickoff returner. Douglas is ahead of Jennings, but I think Jennings is ahead of Brown. But there is still plenty of time for more jockeying to occur. A long return or a touchdown in one of these final two games could do just enough to tip the scales permanently in one guys’ favor.