The Saints need to add receiving depth, particularly big-play weapons if they are going to a) compete next season, b) put Winston in a position to succeed and c) simply add talent at the most important area of play outside of the quarterback position.
They don’t have much money to spend, but there are a lot of low-level options available in free agency that could provide a lot of value. These players may not have much of a track record of producing with cumulative statistics, but when given the opportunity, they have demonstrated tremendous overall efficiency.
Marqise Lee and Taywan Taylor may be the best overall options, but in terms of fit, I can’t help but think about the benefits of adding a speedster like Marquise Goodwin, a true go-ball threat in Marvin Hall, or bringing back Kenny Stills.
In the draft, the Saints should definitely look to double-up at the position. Rashod Bateman is the dream pick, but if not, there are so many options.
Players like Tylan Wallace and Tamorrion Terry could serve as prototypical deep threats, while Rondale Moore, Ka’Darius Toney, Tutu Atwell, and Marquez Stevenson are among the several players who make players miss with the ball in their hands that Payton should be trusted to maximize.
This is a team that still wants to win next season, but with the current receiving corps, it will be difficult. Tre’Quan Smith may be in line for a breakout year with Winston, but adding a playmaker out of the slot, as well as more vertical threats, has to be in order.
Now that they can’t rely on Drew Brees’ ability to keep the line moving, they need to make the most of every completed pass, and that comes with more team speed.
How they go about adding those playmakers may make or break Winston’s tenure as the starter this season, and in the future as well.