NFL New Orleans Saints

5 Dark Horse Candidates to Make the New Orleans Saints’ 53-Man Roster

5 Dark Horses to Make the Saints' Roster

2014 new orleans saints training camp
Derick E. Hingle- USA Today Sports

The New Orleans Saints stacked up this offseason to add a little depth and competition to a team that could very well be playing for a Super Bowl this year. Training camp is the first step, so with that in mind, let's take a look a five dark horse candidates who could end up making the 53-man roster in the Big Easy.

5. DE Lawrence Virgil

lawrence virgil new orleans saints
Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA Today Sports

5. DE Lawrence Virgil

lawrence virgil new orleans saints
Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA Today Sports

The Saints aren't all that deep when it comes to defensive ends. Cam Jordan, Akiem Hicks and Glenn Foster have their jobs tightly secured. After that, Valdosta State's Lawrence Virgil will be involved in a battle for a roster spot. He brings excellent upside with the ability to play both defensive end and tackle. Rob Ryan loves that kind of hybrid player, so a strong performance could end in a positive note for Virgil.

4. RB Timothy Flanders

timothy flanders new orleans saints
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports

4. RB Timothy Flanders

timothy flanders new orleans saints
Troy Taormina- USA Today Sports

Timothy Flanders holds numerous NCAA and school records at Sam Houston State and has the potential to excel at the next level. However, his lack of top-end speed, inability to break tackles and tiny hands could cause a bit of a slowdown during his progression. He is more of a project and needs time to develop, but he could very well find a place in the Saints' offense if he impresses at camp.

3. K Derek Dimke

derek dimke new orleans saints
Kim Klement- USA Today Sports

3. K Derek Dimke

derek dimke new orleans saints
Kim Klement- USA Today Sports

Since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Dimke made his way around three other practice squads before signing a futures contract with the Saints in January. There is no guarantee for the kicker, but he did manage to impress coaches at minicamp and OTAs. Veteran Shayne Graham, who just re-signed with the Saints for another year, is the favorite but is no guarantee either. Dimke could very well win the job.

2. OLB Chidera Uzo-Diribe

chidera uzo-diribe new orleans saints
Ron Chenoy- USA Today Sports

2. OLB Chidera Uzo-Diribe

chidera uzo-diribe new orleans saints
Ron Chenoy- USA Today Sports

Between Uzo-Diribe's potential and the experience of the Saints' coaching staff, it would be no surprise if he made the team. He offers intriguing upside as a pass rusher with excellent size and athleticism, but a near-perfect performance at camp will still need to happen. With a number of outside linebackers already guaranteed roster spots, the former Colorado Buffalo will certainly be tested.

1. WR Brandon Coleman

brandon coleman new orleans saints
Derick E. Hingle- USA Today Sports

1. WR Brandon Coleman

brandon coleman new orleans saints
Derick E. Hingle- USA Today Sports

At 6-foot-6, the former Rutgers' wideout becomes an immediate red zone target for Drew Brees. The fact that he went undrafted is a bit surprising, but even with his size and skills he will still have his work cut out for him at training camp. Still, I believe Coleman was the Saints' best pickup via the undrafted free agent market, and with a strong performance this summer, a roster spot could be calling his name.