Saints Positional Previews: Wide Receivers
Dec 30, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) celebrates his touchdown in the endzone against the Carolina Panthers during second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 44-38. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
We’ve looked at all the other ‘skill’ positions on offense previously: Tight Ends, Running Backs, and Quarterbacks. Let’s look at lengthy topic today, the Wide Receivers. Depending on what site you cite, the Saints have a plethora of WRs listed, we’ll look at 10 of them today.
Marques Colston, 29, is showing no signs of slowing, entering his 8th season as a Saint. Aside 2008, Colston has consistently been a 1,000 yard receiver. Last season, he caught 83 balls for 1,154 yards, 10 touchdowns (2nd most in his career), and averaged nearly 14 yards per reception. He also set some records for 2012, as he became the Saints franchise leader in receiving touchdowns against San Diego on October 7th, passing Joe Horn’s previous record of 50, and breaking Deuce McAllister’s record of 55 total touchdowns. Colston re-worked his deal to create some salary cap space in February, saving the Saints $2.1M in room, and is locked up until 2017. Colston remains ever dangerous with his partner in crime, Drew Brees, and looks to have another solid season. In an offense as dangerous as the Saints, he has usually been ‘Mr. Reliable’ in terms of making things happen. I remember being at the opening game at Lambeau against the Packers, and Colston went down with that collarbone injury, and bounced back way quicker than anyone expected, missing only two games. In so many words, he’s a trooper. Look for Colston to continue his successes in 2013, and will become the Saints career leading receiver this season. He is currently 3rd on that list with 7,394 yards receiving, and has Joe Horn (7,622 yards) & Eric Martin (7,854 yards) to beat.
Lance ‘Smiley’ Moore, 29, is also entering his 8th season for the Black & Gold. 2012 marked the first season that Lance went over 1,000 yards in his career, with 1,041 yards on 65 receptions, 16 yards per reception average, and 6 touchdowns. He is not set to become a Free Agent until 2016, so that bodes well in terms of chemistry for the Saints offensive attack. Moore lines up opposite of Colston, and will continue to find success when teams find Jimmy Graham and Colston on the field. With as many weapons in the offense, the fact that Payton has stated his focus on the run game, and a healthy Jimmy Graham, it could hurt Lance in terms of production year over year, but I think we may see another 1,000 yard season out of Moore.
With the departed Devery Henderson (and we wish you all the best Devery), the 3rd receiver spot is kind of up in the air, and this is where things get a little interesting. As per Rotoworld, Joe Morgan, 25, is listed as the team’s 3rd receiver at the moment. He had a good season overall, as he caught 10 passes for 379 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The shining stat however, is the 37.9 yards/catch. Morgan was a huge deep threat for the Saints in 2012 (much like what Devery did for us in the past), and his most memorable play (which there were a few) had to have been against the Bucs. He enters the final year of his contract with the Saints, and it is stated that his role will increase with the offense in 2013.
Now comes a host players who haven’t played a regular season snap for the Saints. Let’s start with Nick Toon, 24, who was drafted in 2012 in the 4th Round, returns to the Saints after missing his rookie season with a troublesome foot injury that required surgery to fix. Toon was placed on IR on August 31st, and is stated to be 100% recovered. The prodigy of NFL sensation Al Toon had a great buzz about him after coming out of Wisconsin, and has great hands. He looks to become the Saints 4th option at wide receiver, and while he is unproven at this point, there’s a lot to like about him. The biggest question is whether his left foot will hold up.