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Nick Toon and Greg Romeus: From Suffering to Stars

Nick Toon and Greg Romeus spent 2012 on injured reserve. Now they're set to have good, under-the-radar seasons in 2013.

Jonathan Daniel

Just like every team does throughout the course of the NFL season, the Saints fought the injury bug in 2012. Unfortunately for two members of the Black and Gold, their seasons were cut short before the season even started.

Defensive end Greg Romeus was selected by the Saints in the 7th round of the 2011 NFL draft. Coming out of Pittsburgh, Romeus was initially rated as a first-round prospect and was even at the top of his defensive end class. But that was all before he tore his ACL and injured his back his senior season. I, for one, was excited to see the Saints get such a steal. I kept seeing more and more though, that it was highly likely he would be sitting out the 2011 season.

By the time the 2012 season rolled around, I had actually forgotten about Romeus until I saw a practice update that said he was transitioning nicely. He was projected to be in the starting rotation for defensive end during the season. Then, his season was shut down once again by an ACL injury.

At 6'5" 267 lbs., Romeus has the physical capabilities and the potential of being a terror off the edge. He would be a great complement to Cameron Jordan in the Saints' new 3-4 scheme since that's what he played out of the most in college. One must wonder, though, if he will be able to stay healthy for an entire season. If he can, then I believe he will be a great asset to the team's thin defensive end group in 2013.

Saints wide receiver Nick Toon shares a similar story with Romeus. After being drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL draft, Toon was expected to be a strong contender for the Saints' fourth wide receiver spot before his season-ending foot injury. He had a great collegiate career, gaining 2,447 receiving yards and catching 18 touchdown passes.

On the bright side, Toon hasn't had it nearly as rough as Romeus. I fully expect him to be in the mix for a starting position in 2013, especially since it appears the Saints are letting Devery Henderson find a new team. To compliment his 4.41 speed, Toon brings a considerable 6'3" height to the table.