How the Saints can address their receiving corps to help Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Other Receivers

Outside of Smith, the Saints have lesser-known receivers they may want to give opportunities to.

Deonte Harris has been tremendous as a returner, but in 2020, New Orleans started to use him more as a receiver.

That mostly came as a “gadget option”, however, as his average depth of target sat at four yards. He is well suited for that role (6.2 yards after catch/reception), but I wouldn’t want to count on him as their top slot receiver.

Undrafted rookie receiver Marquez Callaway played a greater role than expected in 2020 due to the injuries at the receiving corps. With a 77.8% catch rate, he proved to be a reliable and is a nice big-body option for Winston at 6’2″ and 204 pounds. Then again, are you going to put all your eggs into the basket of someone with three career games started?

Maybe the Saints see something in Juwan Johnson, who isn’t known for his ability to separate but uses his frame to be strong in contested-catch situations. However, it’s clear they need more receiving options.

At tight end, Adam Trautman figures to be the team’s starter heading into his second year, but even he is more of an intermediate threat who creates yardage after catch. Nick Vannett, meanwhile, can profile as someone who can be targeted in the intermediate area, and did just that when he was in Seattle in 2017.

However, in his other four seasons, he has been mostly unproductive and not used outside of in the short passing game, though his size (6-foot-6 261 pounds)  could yield him into being a lesser version of Cameron Brate, who Winston liked throwing to in the red zone in Tampa Bay.