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Saints Roster Countdown 2014: #12 Marques Colston and #62 Lawrence Virgil

The Saints are paring the roster down to 75 players, and look towards cutting it down to the final 53 active players. Meanwhile, we continue counting down the days until the Saints kick off the regular season, by taking a brief look at the guys who are still with the team. Today we check out #12 (WR) Marques Colston and #62 (NT) Lawrence Virgil.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints are whittling down their roster, but there are still dozens of players to be released between now and Saturday.  NFL rosters must be pared down to a maximum of 75 players this afternoon, and taken down to 53 active players by Saturday afternoon.  As of Sunday, NFL teams may declare a 10-man practice squad, up from the 8 players they were allowed previously.

As we count down the last 50 days until the New Orleans Saints begin their regular season in Atlanta, on September 7th, we've been getting to know a little bit about those players who have signed on to bring home another Lombardi trophy.

Today, we take a brief look at wide receiver Marques Colston and nose tackle Lawrence Virgil!

So, with no more ado:

12 DAYS UNTIL ATLANTA!!!


#12 WR Marques Colston (9th Year)

The only player ever drafted out of Hofstra by the Saints, Marques Colston was picked up by New Orleans in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft.  Over the past eight seasons, the team's top receiver has established himself as one of the NFL’s most difficult-to-defend targets.  Having emerged as an impact player soon after being drafted 252nd overall, the explosive receiver has managed to keep a low profile even while notching six games with 150 yards or more, and garnering over 1,000 yards in a season three times as often as he has fallen short of the mark.

Through eight years with the Saints, Colston has thus far recorded 607 catches for 8,337 yards (13.7 avg.) and 63 receiving touchdowns, which is ranked third in the NFL since 2006.  And in the history of the Saints franchise, the 6-4, 225-pound receiver is ranked first in receptions, receiving yardage, receiving touchdowns, and total touchdowns, and second in 100-yard receiving performances.  Colston has also led the Saints in receiving yardage five of his eight seasons, and holds the franchise record with six 1,000-yard seasons.  Last year, he had 75 grabs for 943 yards (12.6 avg.) with five touchdowns, leading the wide receiver corps in the regular season; and he added 13 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown in the postseason.

Contract:
5 yr(s) / $36,300,000.  Average $7,260,000 per year through 2016.


#62 NT Lawrence Virgil (Rookie)

Another hopeful future notch on the PayLoo UDFA Championship Belt, Lawrence Virgil was picked up out of Valdosta State University by the Saints after this year's NFL Draft.  Despite not attending the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Virgil was projected to be drafted in round six or seven after benching 225 pounds an amazing 39 times, in addition to running a 5.0 second 40-yard dash, and recording a vertical jump of 31 inches and a 112-inch broad jump.

A three-year starter as a defensive tackle for Valdosta State, over the course of 44 games Virgil recorded 126 tackles, 28.5 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles.  He had switched to defensive tackle in 2011, after recording no stats in 11 games as a tight end during his freshman year.  At a towering 6-foot-5, he has excellent size and strength, moves well and has great athletic ability. He still has plenty of room for growth, both physically and in terms of his technique as a defensive tackle.  But Lawrence Virgil is considered a hard worker, and made the most of his four snaps this past weekend in rushing the Colts passer.

Contract:
3 yr(s) / $1,530,000.  Average $510,000 per year through 2016.