Wide receiver has been an area of concern for the New Orleans Saints and it became even more of a concern when they parted ways with Emmanuel Sanders after just one season. Let’s take a look at the wide receiver position as of now.
Here are all of the receivers listed on the Saints’ official roster:
- Kawaan Baker
- Marquez Callaway
- Deonte Harris
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey
- Juwan Johnson
- Jake Lampman
- Jalen McCleskey
- Tre’Quan Smith
- Michael Thomas
- Easop Winston
The Saints don’t have a No. 2 wide receiver on their roster.
Thomas is obviously the No. 1 receiver on the roster but after an injury-filled 2020 campaign, what can the Saints realistically expect from him this year? There were rumors the team was looking to trade the former Buckeye and had they done so, this position would have really been in trouble.
Baker was taken in the seventh round this year and as Who Dat Dish’s own Mervin Walls wrote, he could end up being the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft. Walls said,
"During his time at South Alabama, Baker hauled in 1,829 yards receiving, 16 touchdowns with an average of 14 yards per reception. At 6’1″ and 210 pounds, Baker displayed electrifying playmaking ability using speed and athleticism to find the end zone."
Baker has the ability to make a name for himself in New Orleans and he should make the roster. Hopefully, he can climb the depth chart and be a reliable weapon for the offense.
Callaway is entering his second year with the team after going undrafted a year ago. The Tennessee Volunteer appeared in 11 games last year and hauled in 21 receptions for 213 yards while averaging 10.1 yards per reception.
Harris is mostly used as a return specialist, which helps his chances of making the team. He had just 186 receiving yards and a touchdown last year.
Humphrey, who easily has the best first name of anyone in the league, hasn’t done much during his NFL career. He’s appeared in just eight games during two seasons in New Orleans and has three catches for 46 yards. One of those catches did result in a touchdown though, for what it’s worth.
Johnson, who is entering year two with the Saints, had four catches for 39 yards last year.
Lampman hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2016 when he did so as a member of the Saints. Since then, he’s spent time with the Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL. He signed a futures/reserve contract with the Saints earlier this year.
McCleskey is from New Orleans and played college football at Tulane, which will make him popular amongst Saints fans. He’ll have an uphill battle when it comes to trying to make the roster though.
Smith is a name that Saints fans know and he’s probably the favorite to land the No. 2 wide receiver job. He had 448 receiving yards and four touchdowns last year.
Winston just joined the team a few days ago. He played college ball at Washington State and spent the 2020 season with the Rams, per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
Out of this bunch, Thomas is the only lock to make the team, though Smith, Harris, and Baker are likely going to make it as well. The WR2 job is up for grabs for anyone who steps up and shows they’re worthy of it so that’ll be one of the biggest camp battles to watch this summer.
It’s surprising that New Orleans didn’t address wide receiver earlier in the draft but it’s in the rearview mirror now and there’s no use in harping on it now. Time to look at the names they do have at receiver and figure out how this depth chart will look when the 2021 season kicks off in September.