New Orleans Saints: Don’t expect Kenny Stills to fill WR1 role

Kenny Stills (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Kenny Stills (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

While re-signing Kenny Stills was a good move for the New Orleans Saints given their lack of help at the wide receiver position, this doesn’t mean the team has their WR1 until Michael Thomas returns to the lineup.

Stills, a former fifth-round pick by the Saints in the 2013 NFL Draft, was a nice player for the black and gold during his two seasons in the Big Easy. During that time, Stills hauled in 95 receptions for 1,572 yards and eight touchdowns through 31 games (17 of which were starts).

It didn’t end well between Stills and the Saints, but this was a move the team desperately needed to make. The wide receivers haven’t been effective through the first two games, with only Deonte Harris and Chris Hogan scoring touchdowns and making any kind of positive impact.

Considering Stills hasn’t played in Sean Payton’s system for seven years and that last year was the worst of his career, it’s not realistic to expect the guy to step in and be the number one target from the jump.

Kenny Stills won’t be the WR1 the New Orleans Saints need but that’s okay.

Maybe NOLA won’t have a true WR1 until Thomas returns and that’s okay as long as the other receivers step up and help Jameis Winston out. We’ve seen Harris and Hogan make the most of their opportunities so far but Marquez Callaway has been nowhere to be found in the two games we’ve seen take place.

Stills hasn’t put up WR1 numbers since 2017 when he was a member of the Miami Dolphins. That season saw him grab 58 catches for 847 yards and six touchdowns.

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Maybe Winston targets Stills when the Saints get into the red zone and that’s where he makes his presence felt. Maybe he’s a deep ball target for Winston. Expecting him to be the top receiver for New Orleans while Thomas is out is incredibly unrealistic.