Marquez Callaway is the most improved player on the Saints’ roster
By Kristen Wong
Heading into Week 11, quite a few New Orleans Saints players haven’t changed. Some have even dipped in form. Marquez Callaway, though, is one of a select few on the roster who have been performing better now than at the beginning of the season.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently revealed a list of every NFL team’s most improved player through ten weeks of the season. These are players “who have taken that proverbial next step whether due to natural development, scheme changes or an expanded role,” and they all have seen an uptick in production this season compared to previous seasons.
Knox also chose to focus on veterans specifically, since obviously rookies don’t have past pro seasons to use for comparison.
For the Saints, Knox picked Callaway as the most improved:
"This season, Callaway has made a jump as an offensive asset. With No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas out for the year following ankle surgery, Callaway has taken over the role of top perimeter target…Deonte Harris deserves a mention here as well, as he leads the team with 407 receiving yards, but Callaway’s rise has been more dramatic."
It’s not difficult to see why.
New Orleans Saints WR Marquez Callaway wins ‘most improved’ award so far this season
Callaway has flourished the most from Michael Thomas’ continued absence, taking the role of WR1 and easily outperforming duds like Tre’Quan Smith and Kenny Stills.
He’s currently tied with teammate Deonte Harris for the most receptions on the team (24), but Callaway does lead the team with five touchdowns.
The formerly undrafted free agent only played 36 percent of offensive snaps in his rookie year, but this year, he’s playing 79 percent of offensive snaps.
After recording just 22 receiving yards in his first two season games, Callaway has found more consistent form recording 32, 30, 25, and 37 yards in his last four games, along with a pair of scores in Week 9 and Week 10.
Callaway’s targets, receiving yardage, receptions, average yards per reception, touchdowns, and passer rating have all increased from last year.
Knox does give teammate Harris a nice nod for his offensive contributions, but if anyone has considerably improved on New Orleans this season, it’s Marquez Callaway.
It’s slim pickings for the Saints in 2021, but Callaway can take home the imaginary “most improved” award for now.