POSITION: Wide receiver
Years in the NFL: 2
Acquired: Free agency in May
College: East Carolina
Highlights: Lewis has bounced around the NFL his first two seasons, spending most of his time on the practice squads in Dallas, Washington and San Francisco, although he played in three games for the Redskins as a rookie in 2013. Waived by the Redskins and Cowboys in 2013, Lewis latched on with the 49ers in 2014, where he spent the entire season on the practice squad, learning from wide receivers coach John Morton, who the Saints hired in the offseason.
Strengths: Two days into training camp, Lewis has shown an ability to create separation and make tough catches down the field. On the first day, he out-jumped cornerback Kyle Wilson for an acrobatic catch on a deep ball during 7-on-7 work, and he followed that up by torching Terrence Frederick for a touchdown on a deep ball from Ryan Griffin. Then, on the second day, Lewis made two nice catches on intermediate routes, including a tough grab diving to the sideline in front of coverage.
Must continue to: Dominate the third team’s secondary, keep making highlight plays and offer the Saints something the more established receivers on the roster can’t provide. At 6-foot-2, 207 pounds, he’s not the sizable type the Saints like, and he doesn’t fit in the slot, but if he proves to be a devastating deep threat or a good intermediate runner, he could earn a second look from the coaches.
Projection: Lewis faces an uphill climb at a receiver position stocked with young players the Saints like. Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston are the starters, and then the Saints have a bevy of young, unproven receivers with some history, guys like Nick Toon, Brandon Coleman, Seantavius Jones and Joe Morgan, in addition to veteran free agent Josh Morgan. At this point, Lewis is a long shot, but if he keeps making plays once the pads go on, he might make the receiver race even more crowded. For Lewis, this training camp is urgent; he’s spent two seasons on the practice squad, making him ineligible for the same designation this time.
Joel A. Erickson
OUT: S Jairus Byrd (undisclosed), LB Davis Tull (shoulder); LB Dannell Ellerbe (hip); DT Glenn Foster (undisclosed); CB Brian Dixon (undisclosed); LS Justin Drescher (undisclosed)
LIMITED: WR Marques Colston (undisclosed)
Next three up
friday: First day in full pads. 7:50 a.m.-10:40 a.m. CDT; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
saturday: 7:50 a.m.-10:40 a.m. CDT; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
sunday: 7:50 a.m.-10:40 a.m. CDT; 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.