In the NFL, there comes a time in every player's career where they come across a "make it or break it" season. A season that may tell the story of what that player really has in him. That time may already be here for Saints wide receiver Nick Toon.
After missing the entire 2012 season, Toon seemed to catch passes like Tom caught Jerry. With only four completions out of twelve targets, the former 4th round pick out of Wisconsin has come no where close to his expectations as eventually being a possible successor to Saints great Marques Colston.
At this point, there is no longer a reason to hold our expectations of Toon this high. But 2014 brings an even better opportunity for Toon to compete for more playing time, as the Saints no longer have veterans Lance Moore and Robert Meachem in the mix. While 2nd year WR Kenny Stills is almost guaranteed an ample amount of playing time, it would be a bit premature to lock up a 3rd WR spot on Joseph Morgan, who is coming off of a serious knee injury and has missed two of the last three seasons. Talent wise, the rest of the current WR depth for the Saints shouldn't scare someone as talented as Toon. He simply needs to take advantage of this opportunity.
At 6'4", 218 lbs, son of Al showed what he can do in Wisconsin on a football team that is more built for a smash mouth running game. In his senior year, Toon had 64 receptions for 926 yards and 10 TDs. I remember being so excited to get him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, thinking at the time that the Saints got an absolute steal. So far, that has been about as far from the truth as I ever expected.
Even if the Saints decide to draft a wide receiver in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, a tall and much improved target like Nick Toon would be a wonderful surprise for a Saints team that actually is a little short of proven offensive weapons. Nick, you get a mulligan for last year considering the fact that you had to beat out two veteran wide receivers. If 2014 becomes the year that you figure it all out, the Saints may have a chance to actually improve off of what was by far the worst performance of the Payton era by a group of Saints' WRs. If once again, you lose out on playing time to guys like Morgan and whoever else the Saints put on the field, we wish you the best of luck elsewhere.
Will we see a hungrier Nick Toon in 2014 or do you expect for him to once again be a non-factor?