Saints work out three free agent tight ends, pair of defensive tackles

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The New Orleans Saints have brought in five free agents to work out in positions that are light on depth. With tight ends Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett both suffering injuries on Monday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars, tight end has become a position of need. While the prognosis is positive for both tight ends, an extra body or two is needed.

Defensive tackle has been a position with plenty of question marks surrounding it heading into the season. Jalen Dalton was a projected starter until he was lost for the year with an injury, and David Onyemata will serve a six-game suspension to start the season.

Here are the players the Saints brought in for workouts:

TE Woody Brandom

Aug 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; A detail view of a New Orleans Saints helmet on the field before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Brandom is a tight end out of Sam Houston State University and a California native where he attended Corona Santiago High School. In 2019, Brandom earned All-SLC honors when he played in 12 games and secured 24 receptions for 314 yards and 1 touchdown. Brandom was not selected in the 2021 NFL draft, but his ability to grind out plays, willingness to play special teams, and route running ability could help him find a spot on an NFL roster.

TE Daniel Helm

Aug 29, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Daniel Helm (43) before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Helm, a Duke University product, got his first shot in the NFL when he was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2019. Helm was then claimed off of waivers by the San Francisco 49ers, subsequently waived, and has seen time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and most recently, the 49ers again. Helm appeared in five games for San Francisco in 2019 and has showcased his abilities on special teams as well. He could be a decent signing for depth at the position.

TE Gabe Holmes

Indianapolis Colts tight end Gabe Holmes (47) runs a drill during practice at the NFL team's football training camp in Westfield, Ind., Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Gabe Holmes was an undrafted free agent out of Purdue University in 2015. Originally signed with the Oakland Raiders, Holmes has bounced around NFL practice squads, seven to be exact, with the Tennessee Titans as the most recent. He was on the active roster for the Arizona Cardinals for two seasons. During those two seasons, Holmes played in 10 games, but never recorded any offensive stats and played primarily on special teams. At 30-years-old, Gabe would appear to be just a body to bring in to play special teams while New Orleans assess injuries to Trautman and Vannett.

DT Damion Square

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Damion Square runs a drill during an NFL football practice, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Damion Square, another undrafted free agent in 2013, is an Alabama product who was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. The defensive tackle has seen time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and most recently the Cleveland Browns. Square spent seven seasons with the Chargers where he appeared in 81 games and started in 24 of them. In 2018, Square recorded 30 tackles and three sacks. He could be a veteran addition to the Saint that represents some upside and NFL experience.

DT Eddie Vanderdoes

Aug 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes (63) tackles Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Shane Buechele (6) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Vanderdoes has a good pedigree as he earned first team Freshman All-American when he was at UCLA. Originally drafted by the Raiders in third round of the 2017 NFL draft, and played in 16 games in the 2017 season. He suffered an ACL injury in 2017 that effectively ended his 2018 campaign before it even started. The defensive tackle was subsequently waived and signed by the Houston Texans. He appeared in only three games for the Texans before his stint ended. His most recent action came with the San Francisco 49ers this preseason. Vanderdoes has a career total of 17 sacks, but he has shown flashes that he can play in the league.

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