Saints surprisingly don’t have the worst receiver group
Wide receiver was already thin for the New Orleans Saints but once Michael Thomas’ news circulated and only gotten worse with time, the unit looked even worse.
Surprisingly, though, the Saints don’t have the worst receiver situation in the league. Mike Clay releases his position rankings for every team in the league around this time every year and had the Saints with the fifth-worst group of receivers entering the 2021 season.
The only teams with worse situations at the position than New Orleans, who had a 0.6 grade, are the Lions (0.1), Patriots (0.3), Texans (0.4), and Raiders (0.5).
It’s not surprising to see New Orleans ranked this low considering their situation. Had Michael Thomas been healthy and ready to go, the Saints likely aren’t in the bottom five at the position but going from Thomas as the WR1 to a combination of Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway to WR1 is obviously going to knock them down a few pegs.
New Orleans Saints receivers don’t inspire much confidence
Until several wide receivers step up and prove they can get the job done (which Smith boldly claims will happen), this group is going to continue to be doubted, and for good reason.
Smith is the most experienced receiver on the team and hasn’t had more than 450 yards in a single season. Callaway is entering his second year after going undrafted out of Tennessee. The rest of the guys on the team are either unknowns or don’t offer much to the group.
With an already less than ideal situation at quarterback, it won’t be easy for the receivers to step up and prove they’re better than their bottom-five ranking but that’s what has to happen.
Hopefully, Smith and Callaway can step up and we also see a few surprise candidates step up in a big way. Jalen McCleskey has had a good training camp, as had Lil’Jordan Humphrey and this is exactly what New Orleans wants to see ahead of such an intriguing season.