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2021 New Orleans Saints roster breakdown: Defensive backs

Saints have plenty of experience at position


Take a deep dive into the New Orleans Saints roster ahead of training camp with a player-by-player breakdown at each position. The public portion of the 2021 Training Camp presented by SeatGeek kicks off on Friday, July 30 at 9:30 a.m., the first of seven practices scheduled to be open to the public.

2021 New Orleans Saints roster: Defensive backs

Paulson Adebo - Cornerback
Adebo enters his first season with the Saints

Paulson Adebo finished his college career playing in 22 games with 21 starts for Stanford and recording 97 tackles, 34 passes defensed and eight interceptions, earning All-Pac-12 honors in both 2018 and 2019. He will compete in training camp for a role in the team's defensive packages, where he can utilize his combination of size and speed. He sat out the 2020 season.

Ken Crawley - Cornerback
Crawley is in his second stint in New Orleans

The Saints reunited with Ken Crawley, adding help to the cornerbacks room. Crawley has appeared in 49 regular season games since 2016, all but four of them with New Orleans, though his efforts in 2020 were largely spent on special teams (56 snaps) rather than on defense (11).

Grant Haley - Cornerback
Haley enters his first season with the Saints

Grant Haley recorded his first career interception off a pass thrown by Teddy Bridgewater in the New Orleans Saints' 33–7 win over Carolina in 2020. On Jan. 18, 2021, Haley signed a reserve/futures contract with the Saints.

Marshon Lattimore - Cornerback
Lattimore enters his fifth season with the Saints

Cornerback Marshon Lattimore started in all 14 games he played and missed two regular season games due to a left ankle sprain. Lattimore posted a career-high 62 tackles (52 solo) and five tackles for loss. The six-foot, 192-pound force defended 11 passes and had two interceptions. The first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2017 continued his success against divisional rival Mike Evans by holding him to zero receptions in the regular season when guarded by Lattimore. He was named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his four-year career.

Patrick Robinson - Cornerback
Robinson enters his fourth season in his second stint with the Saints

Veteran Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson's best game of the 2020 campaign was in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, a game in which neither Marshon Lattimore nor Janoris Jenkins were able to suit up due to injury. Robinson got a crucial interception in the end zone in what was then a tie game, and also had two pass defenses and four tackles. Robinson, a former Saints first-round draft pick and a Super Bowl winner with the Eagles, adds experience and depth to the defensive backfield.

Bryce Thompson - Cornerback
Thompson enters his first season with the Saints

Bryce Thompson was a three-year letterman/starter for the Tenneesee Volunteers. Thompson played in 32 career games with 28 starts, recording 102 tackles (73 solo), eight tackles for loss, two sacks, eight interceptions, 19 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. As a junior in 2020, Thompson played in 10 games with eight starts and posted 36 tackles (27 solo), two stops for loss, two interceptions, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Keith Washington #38
Keith Washington Jr. - Cornerback
Washington enters his second season with the Saints

Initially signed as an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia in 2020, Keith Washington Jr. impressed last summer. The great depth the Saints enjoyed at cornerback pushed him down to the practice squad, where he spent the entire 2020 season. Washington will have a chance to compete for a roster spot during training camp.

P.J. Williams - Cornerback
Williams enters his seventh season with the Saints

As one of the defensive backfield's most versatile players, Marcus Williams filled in at safety, slot corner, and outside cornerback during the 2020 campaign. He gave up 64.7% completion percentage when targeted, but had one interception and recovered two fumbles while recording 40 tackles.

Lawrence Woods - Cornerback
Woods enters his first season with the Saints

Lawrence Woods was named a Division II All-American following his 2018 season in which he was also the Great Lakes Valley Conference Special Teams Player of the Year. Woods signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft.

Eric Burrell - Safety
Burrell enters his first season with the Saints

Eric Burrell, who is a native of Severn, Md., finished his college career playing in 48 games with 26 starts at safety, logging 126 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, five interceptions, 11 pass breakups and four forced fumbles.

C.J. Gardner-Johnson - Safety
Gardner-Johnson enters his third season with the Saints

Defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson appeared in 15 games in the 2020 regular season while showing improvement from year one. The Florida product ranked third on the team with a career-high 65 stops and posted a career-high three passes defended. In Week 12 against Denver, Gardner-Johnson added his second career interception and first of the 2020 season. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound nickel back made plays all over the field in the postseason with 10 tackles and one pass defended.

J.T. Gray - Safety
Gray enters his fourth season with the Saints

Signed by the Saints after the 2018 NFL Draft, J.T. Gray has played in 37 regular season games and recorded one defensive tackle, 27 special teams stops, one coverage fumble recovery and one blocked punt.

Malcolm Jenkins - Safety
Jenkins enters his second year in his second stint with the Saints

In 2020, Malcolm Jenkins returned to New Orleans where his NFL playing days began when the Saints drafted him in the first round (14th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. In his 12th NFL season, Jenkins had yet another strong year starting in all 16 regular season games and both postseason matchups. The 6-foot, 200-pounder tied a career-high with 2.5 sacks and recorded 91 tackles, seven of them being for a loss. Jenkins flew around the field all season posting three interceptions, 10 passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Deuce Wallace - Safety
Wallace enters his first season with the Saints

Deuce Wallace played at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2015-19, initially joining the team as a walk-on after a standout high school career at St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette.

Marcus Williams - Safety
Williams enters his fifth season with the Saints

New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams started in all 14 games he played in and missed the last two regular season games of the season due to an ankle injury. Williams posted a team-leading three interceptions in 2020 (tied with Janoris Jenkins). The Utah product, drafted in the second round in 2017, recorded 59 tackles, ranked fourth on the team (40 solo), and seven passes defended. Williams' 13 picks since being drafted is tied for seventh in the NFL over that period, tied for third among safeties.

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