Over the past six years, the Saints have had a great group of receivers. A large amount of their success has resulted from Drew Brees spreading the ball around so much. Not just one receiver gets the bulk of the catches, so it's hard to determine to whom the ball will go. Even though starter Robert Meachem departed to the San Diego Chargers, enough depth is still left to get the job done.
Going into the preseason, the Saints have a whopping total of eleven receivers. During the regular season, the Saints like to take six into games. The first three receiver spots have already been taken, so that means that there are three more spots up for grabs.
Make the jump to see my opinion on who will make the final squad and who will be relegated to the practice team. Who do you guys think the final six will be? Discuss in the comment section below.
Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson
No questions here. These are the veteran starters of the group and they will remain in those spots until their time wearing black and gold has come to an end. Since Marques Colston arrived on the team from Hofstra in 2006, he has broken 1,000 yards receiving in every season but 2008. He has also caught at least 70 passes in every season but 2008. As you can see, the "Quite Storm" has consistently been a productive member of the receiving corps.
Lance Moore, playing from the slot, has made his impact on the team as well. He has been able to average 11.4 yards per reception during his career with the Saints as well as average five touchdowns per season. Devery Henderson has been on the team since 2005; the longest of this trio. In his career, Henderson has used his burning speed to average 18.2 yards per reception. In three of those years he surpassed 20 yards per catch. Devery has also been able to stay relatively healthy; he hasn't missed a game in five years.
Nick Toon, Courtney Roby
I suspect that both of these guys will make the final roster. Nick Toon was this years 4th round draft pick out of Wisconsin, so apparently the coaches see something in him. He has been competing pretty well in training camp so far, but he recently sustained an ankle injury that has kept him out of the first two preseason games.
Courtney Roby is the teams' special teams ace so he will most likely be around for another season. He has been a part of the team since 2008, but he hasn't contributed much towards the offense. In the Hall of Fame game against the Cardinals, Roby had a decent game as a receiver, catching 4 passes for 54 yards. He followed that up with an impressive 5 catch, 85 yard performance vs. the Patriots. If he keeps that up, he might see more offensive game time this year.
On the Bubble
Andy Tanner, Joe Morgan
Tanner has primarily been a practice squad player for the Saints. But this year, he is trying to change that. He has been having a great camp and helped out his case by finishing second on the team in receiving yards against the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game; 4 receptions for 75 yards. Joe Morgan has a similar track record as Tanner, primarily being on the practice team. After suffering a season ending injury last season, Morgan is fully healed and brings promise to the table. His glaring speed makes him a threat in the return game as well as at receiver. Against Arizona, Morgan finished with 3 receptions for 35 yards and fielded 3 returns (2 punts, 1 kickoff) for a total of 63 yards. Whichever one of these guys finishes with a better preseason will be the 6th receiver on the final roster.
Adrian Arrington, Derek Moye, Kevin Hardy, Marques Clark
The rest of the receiving squad is full of players that most of us have never even heard of before, except for Adrian Arrington. Arrington was supposed to eventually be a sleeper player for the Saints, but he has proven to be a big disappointment. After being on the team for nearly half of a decade, he has caught a petty number of passes, nine. After recently suffering a knee injury, Arrington missed his second straight preseason game. His time with the Saints will likely be over by the time that the final roster cut date comes around.
Marques Clark will be an unknown player to you unless you read that he was "recruited" to the team by Drew Brees. There is nothing to really judge him on as a player yet because this is his first time in the league. He will likely be put on the practice squad. Derek Moye comes to the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of Penn State. He has the potential to be a speedster deep-threat as he ran a 4.41 40 yard dash. Moye is also tall, measured at 6 feet 5 inches. The practice squad is his likely landing spot unless he is cut.
As an undrafted rookie from Citadel, Kevin Hardy is the biggest longshot to make the team. At Citadel, he was primarily used as a return specialist. He gained 562 of his 716 total yards from kick returns. The Saints won't have a spot just for a kick returner on the team. I would be surprised if he even made the practice squad.