Meet 19 undrafted rookie free agents Saints add to squad _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Dominique Tovell runs the forty yard dash during Pro Day on Wednesday at the Moncla Indoor Practice Facility. Pro Day allows NFL team scouts to check out the abilities hopeful Ragin' Cajun football players looking to get drafted.

The Saints worked the market of undrafted players hard to acquire a handful of players to compete for roster spots during training camp.

The team announced on Monday it signed 19 rookie free agents following the draft. The largest areas of focus were on the offensive line and the defensive backfield.

On the offensive line, the team added BYU offensive lineman Ryker Mathews, North Carolina guard Landon Turner, Auburn tackle Avery Young, Boise State center Marcus Henry, Texas A&M guard Joseph Cheek and Michigan State center Jack Allen.

Turner and Allen were both projected to be drafted during the middle rounds.

New Orleans has a lack of depth on the interior offensive line, and there are no clear starters at either guard position. However, Andrus Peat, Senio Kelemete and Tim Lelito are all expected to figure into the mix there.

The opportunity to not only win a roster spot at one of those spots but perhaps compete for snaps, was one reason several of the top undrafted offensive linemen chose to join the Saints, according to league sources.

In the defensive backfield, the Saints added cornerbacks De’Vante Harris (Texas A&M) and Ken Crawley (Colorado). New Orleans also signed safeties Mike Caputo (Wisconsin) and Trae Elston (Ole Miss).

Elston was a second-team All-American last season after finishing with 70 tackles, four interceptions and 18 passes defensed. Harris, meanwhile, interceptions two passes last season.

Linebackers Dillon Lee (Alabama), Jeff Schoettmer (North Carolina) and Dominique Tovell (Louisiana-Lafayette) were also added.

Tovell racked up 14.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles last season. Schoettmer had 97 tackles while Lee had two interceptions and 27 tackles in 2015.

Some depth on the defensive line comes in the form of Mitchell Loewen (Arkansas) and D.J. Pettway (Alabama).

Pettway finished with two sacks last season, while Loewen was credited with 1 1/2.

The receivers Jared Dangerfield (Western Kentucky), Tommylee Lewis (Northern Illinois) and Jordan Williams-Lambert (Ball State).

Lewis recorded 1,405 all-purpose yards in 2013 but battled injuries that limited him in 2014 and 2015. Williams Lambert caught 72 passes for 920 yards with eight touchdowns last season. Dangerfield caught 82 passes for 844 yards with eight touchdowns.

The team also signed fullback Sione Houma out of Michigan.

Some additional roster moves will need to come to make room for all of these players, but those have not yet been announced by the team.