Kristian: Colston, Moore, Henderson and which other Saints?
Kristian Garic, Krstian@wwl.com Reporting
The Saints are still loaded with receiving talent despite the loss of Robert Meachem during free agency.
That having been said, the Black and Gold have a tremendous ability to "reload" on the offensive side of the football. Following Meachem's departure to San Diego, the Saints grabbed Nick Toon in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
"He's been impressive, he can help this football team right now. Toon is really going to help the team out as the fourth wide out and in the redn zone especially," said NFL analyst Mike Detillier.
It's a foregone conclusion that Marques Colston, Lance Moore (above) and Devery Henderson are entrenched as the top three wide receivers currently on the Saints roster. Toon will have some competition for the fourth spot. Second year man Joe Morgan out of Walsh College is in the mix as well.
"You can see the speed, when you watch him. That's an element that he could restore to the offense... the ability to take the deep ball on the defense," explained WWL Saints color analyst Hokie Gajan.
Morgan spent all of last season on injured reserve after dazzling in the preseason with big plays as a return man and receiver. Then there is Adrian Arrington entering his 5th season in the NFL - all with the Saints. Arrington has been a bit of a mystery. He hasn't been able to crack the starting lineup in New Orleans, and he can't play special teams. At times he's flirted with becoming the "next man up" but has disappeared during regular season games.
"If preseason mattered, he would be a hall of famer," said Gajan.
The former Michigan product has bounced up and down on the active roster, and at times it's puzzling as to why he's still with the team. Courtney Roby is in the mix too, but more so as a special team's contributor than a wide receiver. Roby clearly is a bigger playmaker as a returner and coverage guy on kicks, than he is in the diverse passing game of the Saints offense.
The Saints will likely keep 5 receivers on the active roster. The top three will not have to play special teams. The 4th and 5th guys must be able to play on the kick coverage units and double as a return man.
It's a four horse race for those two slots now between Toon, Morgan, Roby, and Arrington.
Toon and Roby have the inside edge, but if Morgan can show that he can make plays on special teams, he has a chance to beat out Roby. Not to mention Morgan has something that Roby does not... speed, speed, and more speed. The ability to take the top off the coverage is extremely important to the Saints offense, and Morgan gives them that opportunity. Arrington will likely see his time in New Orleans finally come to an end. While he's talented, he's not worth keeping around if he can't be a part of the core special teams players. Toon will make the roster. He's too big and physical to cut. He runs great routes and has great football IQ. The Saints have plans for Toon in the offense in 2012. With Toon in the plans, that really leaves one spot open for competition. I think Morgan edges out Roby in this one.