Saints: Marquez Callaway could emerge as No. 1 wide receiver

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) - Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) - Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

While the New Orleans Saints‘ wide receiver situation isn’t great, the reason the team didn’t go out and make a blockbuster trade for a receiver is simple — The Saints believe in Marquez Callaway. After the early portions of training camp and one preseason game, it’s not hard to see why the team is putting stock in Callaway.

This is wild to think about too, as this time last year, Callaway was an unknown receiver out of Tennessee who went undrafted and signed with the Saints shortly after the 2020 NFL Draft wrapped up. Now, fast forward to the present day, and he’s in the running to be the Saints’ top receiver when the 2021 regular season gets underway on Sept. 12.

Callaway has wowed both in training camp and in one game of preseason and it’s clear he’s become a leader on this team. This is impressive, as he’s just 23 years old and entering year two of his pro career, yet, here he is — One of the leaders of the New Orleans Saints offense.

Saints WR Marquez Callaway impressing

In his first-ever preseason outing, Callaway hauled in three receptions for 61 yards against the Ravens, doing so against Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, both of whom are two of the best cornerbacks in the game. Now, yes, it was preseason and the competition will be tougher when the games count, but Callaway looked good.

Even before Michael Thomas’ news surfaced, Callaway was typically linked with the starters but with Thomas out for the foreseeable future, the opportunity for Callaway to be the WR1 and become a household name is absolutely there for the taking.

As a rookie last year, Callaway made the team for what he could potentially contribute on special teams and ended up showing he could make a difference on offense. He had 21 receptions for 213 yards through 11 games and three starts.

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Maybe he doesn’t surpass 1,000 yards this year, but he’s definitely showing that the Saints can lean on him as their No. 1 wide receiver until Thomas is able to return.