Saints training camp is finally underway and many key positions in the starting lineup are up for grabs. Battles across both sides of the ball are taking place as the days slowly inch toward final cuts and Canal Street Chronicles is here to take a look at every competition as New Orleans prepares for its season opener against Atlanta September 8th.
I don’t think Sean Payton himself knows who will be on the opening day lineup at this position right now and, frankly, I like it that way. It’s safe to assume Marques Colston, Lance Moore, and Joe Morgan are locks but after that it’s a complete crapshoot. Payton and Brees are experts at targeting a multitude of receivers across the board so this position battle may not be as important as some of the others, but it’s still a key competition between some very young talent in the Saints receiving corps.
Fifth-round draft pick Kenny Stills has an edge right now simply because he was taken in this year’s draft but don’t let that fool you. Stills struggled locating the ball early on and Sean Payton will have no qualms with sticking him on the practice squad if he doesn’t perform in camp. Last year’s draft pick Nick Toon is off injured reserve and will also fight for a spot in the rotation, but my sleeper pick at wide out is Saalim Hakim. Hakim has absolutely blazing speed and is making it hard for Payton to cut him after displaying soft hands and crisp routes throughout camp. He does have eligibility on the practice squad remaining and could easily be placed there but right now I would not mind seeing Hakim on the roster card come September 8th. Speaking of practice squad, Andy Tanner is also making quite the impression and has really elevated his stock. I’m glad this isn’t my decision to make.
Edge: Nick Toon, Kenny Stills