Is Robert Meachem a Bust Already?
A common thought in the minds of some Saints fans is to deem first-round WR Robert Meachem a bust after not playing a single down in the 2007 season. The gifted receiver missed most of training camp with a knee injury and failed to make up for it to earn playing time during the season in which the Saints were attempting a playoff push. The question is if Robert Meachem is already a bust? In answering the question, I will look at first-round wide receivers in the past few drafts.
In the past seven drafts their have been a total of 32 wide receivers taken in the first round. The thirty-one not including Meachem averaged the following numbers in their first seasons in the NFL: 36 receptions for 515 yards. In other words, mediocre receiving numbers. Of the six receivers taken in the first round in 2001, only one (Reggie Wayne) is still with the team that drafted him. Zero of the three receivers taken in 2002 are still with their original franchise. Of the three taken in 2003, only Andre Johnson has stuck with the team that drafted him. The 2004 draft had some solid selections that included Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Lee Evans. The jury is still out on Reggie Williams, Michael Clayton and Michael Jenkins from that draft. Rashaun Woods, taken 31st by San Francisco is out of the NFL.
Selecting receivers in the first round is an inexact science. The busts outweigh the amount of stars taken in the first round. Receivers are often found in later rounds as well (Marques Colston, anyone?) So when looking at Meachem, it surely is too early to deem him a bust. He may become a Reggie Wayne. However, the odds are surely not in his favor in becoming a cog in the Saints receiving corps.