Take a deep dive into the New Orleans Saints roster ahead of training camp with a player-by-player breakdown at each position.
2022 New Orleans Saints roster: Specialists
Punter Blake Gillikin returns for his third stint with the Saints. During his eventful sophomore season, Gillikin tied for second in the league in total punts (83) as well as yards punted (3,956). His longest punt of the year went 63 yards and he had a punt average of 47.7 yards.
Wide receiver/return specialist Deonte Harty plays a dual role within the special teams as both the punt and kick returner. The 5-foot-6 speedster brought back 29 kickoffs for 690 yards (23.8 avg.) and returned 21 punts for 199 yards (9.5 avg.).
After being sidelined due to injury last season, the veteran kicker Wil Lutz returns for his seventh year in Black and Gold. During the 2020 season, Lutz's PAT percentage was among the top of the league as he made 57 of 58 attempts. Lutz completed the year with a field-goal percentage of 82.1 with his longest kick clocking in at 53 yards.
The Saints signed undrafted free agent John Parker Romo out of Virginia Tech in the offseason. During his senior season, the Hokie standout converted on 100 percent (34 of 34) of extra points while cashing in on 18 of 22 field-goal attempts.
In his senior season at Weber State, Rashid Shaheed excelled in special teams as a return specialist as he returned 15 punts for 146 yards and brought back 22 kickoffs for 640 yards. The dual threat player also led the Wildcat's in receptions (39), yards (695) and touchdowns (four).
Daniel Whelan was picked up by the Saints ahead of the offseason. In 2021, the 6-foot-6 punter out of California-Davis was named a finalist for FCS Punter of the Year along with the accolade of first team All-Big Sky Conference. Whelan punted 17 times for 815 yards with an average of 47.9 yards during his senior season.
The 6-foot-3, 225 pound long snapper Zach Wood is set to return to the Saints for his sixth season. Originally signed as free agent back in 2017, Wood has been a consistent piece to the team playing in every game since arriving.