Deke: Saints camp position breakdown: wide receiver
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jul 24 2014 4:02PM
Eleven players will battle for a handful of roster spots at the wide receiver position. The wise veteran Marques Colston is going to be in the mix, top draft pick Brandin Cooks is expected to have an instant impact, and Kenny Stills should be a lock; but the rest of the group is a tossup.
Veteran WR Robert Meachum has the experience and leadership in his favor. Joe Morgan has speed, which is something you can’t coach, but he's coming off an injury that kept him on the sidelines in 2013.
Then there is WR Nick Toon, who has all the ability of an NFL WR, and he sure looks the par,t but so far he's been more of a disappointment than an asset. Toon needs to have a good camp or he could be somewhere else come September.
Other players in the battle for a roster spot include Andy Tanner and Charles Hawkins. Both of those players were on the Saints practice squad in 2013, and being with the Saints coaches for a year should give them some sort of a leg up.
Steve Hull is a free agent from Illinois, Brandon Coleman is from Rutgers, and Seantavious Jones hails from Valdosta State. All three signed on as free agents and all are going to camp with the Black and Gold.
Of these 11 wide receivers I can see nine of them in the NFL in some way shape or form in 2014. There are only so many spots to go around, and whichever WR can bring the most to the table will wind up on the roster.
Many so-called underdog players have made the Saints roster by making an impact on special teams. Nick Toon needs to use his 6'4" frame to his advantage, and Morgan's near 38 yards per catch from 2012 can be a huge plus to this group. Still, overcoming two ACL injuries in the last three seasons is hard to do.
With the nation’s best WR in Brandin Cooks, an improved Kenny Stills, and the reliable Colston, the Saints could have one of the most balanced and complete wide receiver cores in the NFL.
Having Drew Brees throwing the football and a player like Jimmy Graham opening things up does not hurt. I’d say entering the season that Colston, Stills and Cooks are locks. Meachum, Morgan and Toon are several steps ahead of the rest of the pack.
And the other five players will have to make the most of their time catching the football, or better yet, catching the attention of special teams coach McMahon. That will be equally important for the five long shots to make the Saints roster this season.