Saints roster locks, long shots, and DT’s on the bubble at Saints training camp

Most of the concerns we’ve seen this summer about the New Orleans Saints defense have centered on the situations at cornerback or linebacker, but there’s a sneaky-big weakness in the middle up front: at defensive tackle. A quick glance at the roster doesn’t show many big names.

And a more thorough survey can be alarming given only three of them have played four or more years in the NFL, and one of those veterans will be suspended to start the season. Like several other position groups, it’s young and unproven, which isn’t a great recipe for success.

So who has a real shot at making the team? Let’s get to it:

Roster locks

David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle Onyemata's spot is secure on top of the rotation, but he won't be available until Week 8 (New Orleans' bye week falls inside his six-game suspension). That leaves Tuttle as the only defensive tackle on the roster with extensive game experience. If nothing else is clear, the Saints have a lot to prove at the interior line spots after losing (and neglecting to replace) both Sheldon Rankins and Malcom Brown. This feels like a natural landing-spot for a free agent like Geno Atkins or Kawann Short.

On the bubble

Malcolm Roach, Ryan Glasgow, Christian Ringo, Jalen Dalton, Josiah Bronson Two or three players in this group probably make the cut, but that leaves three or two of them out in the cold depending on how you slice it. Every one of them has a case to be made: Roach dressed for a few games last year, while Glasgow and Ringo spent time on the practice squad; Dalton was impressing during training camp until an unlucky injury ended his year; and Bronson was the team's highest-paid undrafted rookie, so they clearly see potential there. Long shots

Lorenzo Neal Jr., Albert Huggins

Both of these players were signed after tryouts at rookie minicamp, but it remains to be seen what they offer beyond a classroom setting. The Saints still haven't taken the field for a practice session, so the first day in pads could be revealing. As we've seen earlier, there are ample opportunities for someone to carve out a big role at defensive tackle. Maybe Neal (who once got first-round buzz before injuries slowed him down) or Huggins (who has logged a few games with the Eagles and Lions) can surprise us.