NOLA Saints WR position group went from terrible to top-tier this offseason

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

This time last year whenever there were articles ranking the wide receiver corps on each team, the NOLA Saints ranked near the bottom of the list. That is not the case anymore.

Before we dive more into that, let’s take a trip back to last summer and dive into why the Saints’ WR position group was bottom-tier.

First and foremost, Michael Thomas was the only big name they had at the position after Emmanuel Sanders was a cap casualty during the offseason. When the news hit that Thomas would miss the first portion of the season due to injury, it made a bad situation even worse.

With Thomas unavailable, the best options at the position for New Orleans were Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith, an undrafted free agent, and lackluster former third-round pick respectively. As expected, it didn’t go well.

Fortunately, the Saints made it through the dark ages at the position and now are loaded with talent at their weakest position from a season ago.

It started with the official return of Thomas, who is slated to be good to go. The Saints haven’t seen him healthy since the 2019 season and he won Offensive Player of the Year that season, so there’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s been a year and a half since he’s seen any playing time.

Not only is Thomas coming back but New Orleans gave him some companionship in the form of Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry. Adding Olave was enough to make most fans feel more confident in the position but Landry joining the squad took them from worst to nearly first.

Watch out for NOLA Saints wide receivers this year!

Brendan Danaher of NFL Spin Zone ranked the five best WR corps in the league and somehow, someway, the New Orleans Saints came in at No. 4 on his list. This would have been unheard of a year ago but Dennis Allen and Mickey Loomis were determined to improve the unit and give Jameis Winston as much help as possible.

Here’s what Danaher had to say:

"Granted a lot of the Saints landing at the #4th spot relies upon two of the three starters being healthy but the potential of this trio is outstanding. And having your fourth and fifth receivers as Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway isn’t too shabby either."

Most teams don’t have a sensational WR4 and WR5 so the fact that Smith and Callaway are fighting for those spots and they have experience as starters is a good thing.

Next. 3 Strongest Positions on Saints Roster in 2022. dark

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The return of Thomas plus the additions of Olave and Landry should help the NOLA Saints’ WR position flourish in 2022, something that none of us would have predicted this time a year ago.