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Wide receiver Saints biggest remaining need

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The Saints have Michael Thomas....and that’s it.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have been fairly active this offseason. Their biggest needs after the 2018 season were tight end, wide receiver, quarterback of the future, and running back (assuming Mark Ingram were to depart in free agency).

The Saints re-signed Teddy Bridgewater as a potential heir apparent to Drew Brees. They signed Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, to replace Ben Watson. They signed Latavius Murray early in free agency to allow Mark Ingram to sign with the Baltimore Ravens. But at wide receiver, the Saints have been strangely quiet.

That’s why when Bleacher Report listed the biggest remaining need for each of the 32 NFL teams as they currently stand, wide receiver was the position of need for the Saints:

Head coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees have been running a pseudo Air Raid down in New Orleans for over a decade. Though they have gone through many iterations, their pass-game philosophies revolve around abusing vertical tunnels, spreading the ball around and getting the ball to playmakers as quickly as possible.

However, the Saints’ wide receiver depth chart is one mystery after another aside from Michael Thomas. Speedster Ted Ginn Jr., for example, is a 34-year-old coming off a knee injury that kept him out for most of last season. Tre’Quan Smith showed some promise as a rookie last year, but more than 60 percent of his 427 yards came during two games versus Washington (Week 5) and Philadelphia (Week 11). He did not top 50 yards in any of his other 13 games.

Aside from those three players, two of whom need to prove themselves in 2019, the rest of the roster is littered with undrafted free agents or cheap veteran free agents who provide little more than capable emergency play. With Brees on the last leg of his career, the middling options at receiver could hinder the Saints offense.

The Saints are hoping that someone to step up along side Michael Thomas out of 2018 3rd round pick Tre’Quan Smith, oft-injured but promising Cameron Meredith, 2018 UDFA Keith Kirkwood, or 2019 UDFA Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

There are still a lot of intriguing names left on the open market, including Dez Bryant, who the Saints attempted to utilize last season.

We’ll see what they do, but it wouldn’t be shocking for them to do something.