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: Linebackers
Zack Baun saw limited action as a rookie. He finished with 12 tackles, one for a loss. Coaches pointed out his development during the year, which led to more playing time down the stretch. He displayed good strength at the point of attack against the run and showed the ability to get into the backfield as a pass rusher.
Linebacker and team captain Demario Davis started in all 16 regular season games and both postseason games for the Black and Gold. Davis played on 99 percent of the Saints' defensive snaps, recording 119 tackles (74 solo), four sacks and six passes defended. Davis anchored New Orleans defense for another season, being very productive in the rush and pass defense.
Kaden Elliss was selected by the Saints with their second of two seventh round draft choices (244th overall) in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Idaho. Elliss is a strong, athletic player with coverage, pass rush and run-stopping abilities who will compete for playing time after missing the majority of his first season following rehabilitation for a knee injury. Elliss saw action in 15 games during 2020.
Chase Hansen signed with the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of Utah in 2019, but he missed his rookie year while recovering from offseason surgery on a herniated disc. He initially made the roster outright in 2020 and played 13 snaps on special teams in the season opener before landing on injured reserve with a hip issue.
Wynton McManis joins the Saints after winning the CFL Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2018, having gone north of the border after signing with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie out of Memphis back in 2016.
Three-year veteran linebacker Quentin Poling signed with the Saints on May 16. The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder was drafted in the seventh round by the Miami Dolphins in 2018.
Undrafted free agent Shaq Smith appeared in only one game during the 2020 season but proved his ability in his time at Clemson and in College Park during his first three college seasons.
Sutton Smith has bounced around practice squads after being drafted in the sixth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019. The 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker will look to make an impact during training camp.
The Saints selected Pete Werner from Ohio State to compete at the linebacker position. The Indianapolis native finished his college career with 185 career tackles, 16 stops for loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Marcus Willoughby joined the Saints practice squad in 2020 after coming over from Baltimore. Listed at 6-3 and 252 pounds, Willoughby brought a solid resume from college (recording 224 total tackles and 16.5 sacks in 43 games in the CAA) but wasn't able to crack Baltimore's loaded roster last season.