For anyone who has watched the New Orleans Saints play this season, one thing is abundantly clear — This team doesn’t have any good wide receivers on their roster.
Two years ago, Michael Thomas was crowned Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts (149 receptions, 1,725 yards, 9 touchdowns) and while a dropoff was to be expected after putting up those numbers, no one anticipated Thomas barely being on the field in his follow-up season.
Injuries prevented Thomas from appearing in all but seven regular-season games and he was shut out in the touchdown statistic for the first time in his pro career. It was far and away the worst season of his career but fans expected him to bounce back in 2021.
Yeah, about that…
Thomas was injured earlier this year and instead of getting the surgery when he needed it done, he ghosted the team. When he finally went through with the surgery, it was too late and he was placed on the PUP list as a result. Midway through the season, he announced there was a setback and he wouldn’t be playing this year.
Even with Thomas on track to play last offseason, NOLA knew they needed a No. 2 option. They cut Emmanuel Sanders to save some cash and then waited until the seventh round to draft a receiver, who hasn’t suited up once this year.
Saints only have themselves to blame for their wide receiver woes.
Deonte Harris leads the team in receiving yards this season but he’s facing a three-game suspension. That means Marquez Callaway, Kenny Stills, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey will be some of the names to watch at the position moving forward. Yeah, it’s been ugly.
Katherine Terrell of The Athletic wrote a detailed article about the state of New Orleans’ wide receiver situation and how the position is ‘a must’ in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. In that article, she references Dane Brugler’s mock draft where he has NOLA going with Garrett Wilson, who is the first receiver off the board.
Terrell’s article touches on why wide receiver is a bigger need than quarterback at this point and one reason she discusses — which I agree with — is that the quarterback draft class leaves a lot to be desired. For those quarterbacks worth spending a first-round pick on, they’re probably off the board before the Saints even sniff the clock.
Wilson is someone who could dominate in New Orleans and become a fan favorite. He’d be yet another Ohio State wide receiver on the team and could easily be the No. 1 option if Thomas is traded or No. 2 if Thomas sticks around.
Brugler doesn’t have a wide receiver being selected until the Saints pick at No. 13, giving them the choice of whoever they want when they’re on the clock. Wilson and Chris Olave are probably going to be the first two players off the board and either one will likely be a star in the pros.
One thing feels certain, though, and that’s that the New Orleans Saints will be spending their first-round pick on a wide receiver.