Saints Draft

New Orleans Saints Draft 2015: Finding Marques Colston’s Replacement on Day 3?

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Sep 8, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) against the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Falcons 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston‘s career has taken somewhat of a decline over the last two seasons.  Don’t get me wrong — he still remains a vital piece to the offensive puzzle.  However, his health and performance are not like they once were.

He’s slowed down a bit, but that’s okay when you’re approaching 32-years-old and already the franchise’s all-time leading receiver in yards, receptions and touchdowns.

Nicknamed “The Quiet Storm”, Colston has flown under the radar in a black and gold uniform for nine seasons now since being selected in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Hofstra University.  He finished six of those nine seasons in the Big Easy with over 1,000 yards receiving.

Yardage wise, 902 yards is not that bad, which is what he totaled this past season.  However, he closed out 2014 with a career-low 59 receptions ( that’s if you count out 2008 when he battled with injuries for the majority of the year).

His ability to separate from defenders to get open is diminishing, which comes from slowing down due to those 32 years under his belt and prior health issues.  Marques Colston is a fan favorite in New Orleans, and he always will be, but it’s time the Saints start flirting with the idea of finding another big man with the potential to eventually seize his duties.

There are high hopes for Brandon Coleman, the 6-foot-6 2014 undrafted free agent out of Rutgers.  The 6-foot-4 Nick Toon still has a ton to prove, but he seems to be just as fragile as Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.

The 2015 rookie class is brimming with intriguing prospects from start to finish.  Of course, the Saints have far more concerns than drafting another wideout, especially after moving up in the first round last year to take Brandin Cooks.

Again, hidden gem Marques Colston was stolen out of the seventh round in 2006, so why not take that gamble again on another big man, nine years later?  Here are three incoming, under-the-radar rookies that could emerge into starters at the next level.

Weight: 238 LBS

Arm length: 33 1/4 inches

Hands: 9 inches

40-yard dash: 4.46 secs (10th among WRs)

Bench press (225 LBS): 12 reps (6th)

Vertical jump: 37.0 inches (9th)

Broad jump: 125.0 inches (6th)

3-cone drill: 7.07 secs

20-yard shuffle: 4.25 secs

60-yard shuffle: 11.35 secs (4th)

From SI.com:

"Waller played receiver in an option offense, so that goes a long way toward explaining why he had only 971 receiving yards in three seasons. Waller also spent some time in coach Paul Johnson’s doghouse, getting suspended for the 2013 season opener and the first two games of the ‘14 season.When DeAndre Smelter missed the 2014 ACC championship game and the Orange Bowl and Waller had to be the Yellow Jackets’ top pass-catching threat, he came through. In those two games, Waller caught 10 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. (Georgia Tech attempted 26 total passes in those two games.)Add those performances against two good defenses (Florida State and Mississippi State) to the measurables, and Waller suddenly becomes very interesting. He’s 6’6” and 238 pounds with a 4.46-second 40 and a 37-inch vertical jump.Forget the comparisons to fellow former Yellow Jacket Demaryius Thoms — who signed to play in Chan Gailey’s pro-style offense and wound up playing two seasons in Johnson’s offense. Thomas ran five hundredths of a second faster at the combine, but he was three inches shorter and 15 pounds lighter. Waller is 22 pounds lighter than Jimmy Graham was when he came out of Miami, but Waller ran a tenth of a second faster than Graham at the combine.Does that mean Waller will be as good as Graham? Absolutely not. It means he has similar tools and is about as raw as the four-year college basketball player Graham was when he reached the NFL. Waller will determine where the comparison goes from here."

Waller is a freakish athlete, who may end up climbing up the big board from now until the draft kicks off.  Regardless, the Saints could use a guy of his caliber, especially if he remains a 6-7 round prospect.  He could wind up one of the bigger steals this year.

" >

1

Darren Waller

WR, Georgia Tech

Like many of the great Yellow Jackets’ receivers, Waller boasts excellent size and length and plays to his height.  He’s big, fast, physical, competitive, confident and almost impossible to cover one-on-one.  His production was limited in college, but his upside at the next level is very intriguing, especially if he’s in the right system.

Combine measurements:

Height: 6-foot-6 (tallest in class)

Weight: 238 LBS

Arm length: 33 1/4 inches

Hands: 9 inches

40-yard dash: 4.46 secs (10th among WRs)

Bench press (225 LBS): 12 reps (6th)

Vertical jump: 37.0 inches (9th)

Broad jump: 125.0 inches (6th)

3-cone drill: 7.07 secs

20-yard shuffle: 4.25 secs

60-yard shuffle: 11.35 secs (4th)

From SI.com:

"Waller played receiver in an option offense, so that goes a long way toward explaining why he had only 971 receiving yards in three seasons. Waller also spent some time in coach Paul Johnson’s doghouse, getting suspended for the 2013 season opener and the first two games of the ‘14 season.When DeAndre Smelter missed the 2014 ACC championship game and the Orange Bowl and Waller had to be the Yellow Jackets’ top pass-catching threat, he came through. In those two games, Waller caught 10 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. (Georgia Tech attempted 26 total passes in those two games.)Add those performances against two good defenses (Florida State and Mississippi State) to the measurables, and Waller suddenly becomes very interesting. He’s 6’6” and 238 pounds with a 4.46-second 40 and a 37-inch vertical jump.Forget the comparisons to fellow former Yellow Jacket Demaryius Thoms — who signed to play in Chan Gailey’s pro-style offense and wound up playing two seasons in Johnson’s offense. Thomas ran five hundredths of a second faster at the combine, but he was three inches shorter and 15 pounds lighter. Waller is 22 pounds lighter than Jimmy Graham was when he came out of Miami, but Waller ran a tenth of a second faster than Graham at the combine.Does that mean Waller will be as good as Graham? Absolutely not. It means he has similar tools and is about as raw as the four-year college basketball player Graham was when he reached the NFL. Waller will determine where the comparison goes from here."

Waller is a freakish athlete, who may end up climbing up the big board from now until the draft kicks off.  Regardless, the Saints could use a guy of his caliber, especially if he remains a 6-7 round prospect.  He could wind up one of the bigger steals this year.

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