Now that the roster is pretty much set for training camp and rookie mini-camps have started across the league (why are the Saints always the last to do things?), it's time to start taking an early look at the roster as we inch ever so closer to training camp and the 2009 pre-season. Each post in this series will examine a different position on the team and offer a preview of what fans can expect as players battle it out. First up are the wide receivers.
Before we get started the first thing we need to do is meet our lovely contestants. Here is who the Saints have competing for a spot this year so far:
|Adrian Arrington||6' 3"||192||23||2|
|Biren Ealy||6' 3"||207||24||2|
With the release of David Patten this off-season the receiving squad's average age has dropped significantly. There is no real veteran presence. In fact, with six years of experience, Devery Henderson is now the veteran receiver of the team. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. The best news is that all of these guys are in the prime of their careers.
Unlike last year when it was uncertain just which players might actually make the squad, this years crop seems a bit easier to predict. Out of the eleven players listed only five, maybe six will make the final roster. At first glance I think most of us would agree exactly which players will make the cut: Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Adrian Arrington. Wow...that was easy. There might be some shuffling around as far as the depth chart is concerned but it will most likely be within the framework of those five players. Maybe, and that's a big maybe, Meachem or Arrington could be knocked out of a spot but that would take an impressive performance. As far as these top five guys are concerned, it's their job to lose.
The rest of the receivers looking to make the team have a tough road ahead of them and are on the outside looking in. We know what we can expect from Skyler Green and Courtney Roby, both of whom are on the bubble. Special teams could be the difference-maker and I think that would give Roby - because of his kick return ability - the edge if the team decided to go with a sixth player.
But it's undrafted free agents Ken Harris, Matt Simon and Chris Vaughn as well as sophomore receiver Biren Ealy who are the relative unknowns. Payton and company have always done a swell job of finding talent in the most peculiar of places and one of these guys could be the next Lance Moore. If anyone is going to supplant one of the top five receivers it's probably going to come from an unexpected place like one of these players.
What are your thoughts? Will any of the other receivers have a chance at making the team? Will special teams make a difference? Will Meachem or Arrington lose their spot in the top five?