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#2 wide receiver battle the one to watch for Saints

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Who will step up along side Michael Thomas?

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints wide receivers were largely inconsistent in 2018 beyond Michael Thomas. Thomas has firmly established himself as a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL, but the Saints couldn’t get much of anything out of Ted Ginn Jr. (missed part of the season due to injury), Cam Meredith (placed on IR), Keith Kirkwood (inconsistent), Austin Carr (inconsistent), Tre’Quan Smith (inconsistent), and Tommylee Lewis (lol).

The Saints declined to add any wide receivers via traditional free agency or the 2019 NFL Draft, but they did add a couple of intriguing UDFAs - the only problem is, part of the reason Carr and Kirkwood struggled with consistently in 2018 was largely due what made them go undrafted as well.

Still, because no one has firmly stepped forward and grasp the #2 wide receiver role, the battle is open through OTAs and mini camp. It’s this battle that Bleacher Report named the biggest developing position battle for the Saints this year:

New Orleans Saints No. 2 WR: Ginn vs. Smith vs. Meredith vs. Butler

At wide receiver, the New Orleans Saints are a one-man show. It’s Michael Thomas and everyone else. He accounted for more than half the team’s receiving yards (1,405 of 2,521) at the position in 2018.

Last year, Ted Ginn Jr. dealt with a knee injury, which limited him to five contests. He’s going into his age-34 season on the final year of his deal.

Tre’Quan Smith had a strong 2018 exhibition showing (15 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown), but he feasted on the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins for 268 of his 427 yards during the regular season. Going into his second year, the Central Florida product has a shot to lock down the No. 2 spot, but he must be consistent to leapfrog Ginn on the depth chart.

Following a breakout 2016 campaign with the Chicago Bears (66 receptions for 888 yards and four touchdowns) Cameron Meredith hasn’t been able to shake off the injury bug.

Meredith tore his ACL during the 2017 preseason, which sidelined him for the ensuing year. The Saints signed the 26-year-old last offseason; he appeared in six games but never looked 100 percent and landed on injured reserve in need of a scope on the same knee. If the four-year veteran turns back the clock to 2016, he has a chance at a solid role.

Don’t sleep on undrafted rookie Emmanuel Butler, who was the first to record 1,000-plus receiving yards in two seasons at Northern Arizona. He’s a 6’4”, 220-pound wide receiver who needs to refine his route-running but carries some upside because of his size and vine-like 33-inch arms.

So what says you, Who Dat Nation? Which wide receiver do you think finishes the year with the second-most receiving yards (assuming Michael Thomas is first)? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. Send me presents.

Poll

Which WR finishes #2 in receiving yards for the Saints in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Ted Ginn Jr
    (231 votes)
  • 42%
    Tre’Quan Smith
    (502 votes)
  • 6%
    Keith Kirkwood
    (80 votes)
  • 12%
    Cam Meredith
    (142 votes)
  • 4%
    Emmanuel Butler
    (57 votes)
  • 9%
    Lil’Jordan Humphrey
    (107 votes)
  • 4%
    Someone not currently on the Saints roster
    (50 votes)
1169 votes total Vote Now