The New Orleans Saints have a shiny new wide receiver trio in 2022, but their offensive weapons admittedly pale in comparison to the rest of the league.
Few would disagree with that fact that the Saints’ receiver corps got a huge boost this offseason as the team brought on rookie Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry to play alongside Michael Thomas.
Olave’s ceiling in 2022 is sky-high, Landry has proven he can be a productive threat from his time on the Browns, and Thomas is a few years removed from being the best wide receiver in the NFL.
All that said, the Saints may not be able to size up to other teams like the Cincinnati Bengals or Philadelphia Bengals when it comes to consistently elite pass-catching options.
Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey ranked every NFL team’s receiving corps in 2022 and had the Saints just barely above average at 14th overall. Linsey highlights the addition of Chris Olave, in particular:
"New Orleans secured an excellent prospect-team fit by snagging Olave the first round, even if they paid a premium to move up and get him. He’s a polished route-runner who can separate downfield. That shows in his 12 touchdowns on throws 20-plus yards downfield across his final two seasons at Ohio State (fourth-most in the FBS). That profile is what New Orleans was missing at wide receiver in 2021."
NOLA Saints’ receiving unit is considered just average in 2022
Linsey places the Saints’ receiving corps in Tier 2 of his rankings, which he describes as “strong overall with a weak point or two.” It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who the weak point is: Adam Trautman.
Trautman has been touted as a potential breakout candidate for a few years now, but he underperformed last season and may continue to disappoint in 2022. NOLA’s tight end corps arguably ranks as one of the team’s worst position groups with Trautman, Taysom Hill, Nick Vannett, and Juwan Johnson all competing for a starting spot.
Assuming the Saints’ tight ends make only a small impact in the passing offense, too much weight may be put on Olave’s shoulders to perform, not to mention Thomas is still recovering from his ankle injury.
The Saints’ receiving trio likely gets knocked down a few pegs for its unproven talent (Olave) and possible liabilities (Thomas), yet the ceiling is high enough such that NOLA’s receivers could jump into top-10 territory by midseason.
It doesn’t help that the Tampa Bay Bucs are ranked second on this list with a lethal trifecta of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage along with Gronk perhaps joining Brady for one last dance.
Keep your head held high, NOLA. Our 2022 receiving trio is nothing to scoff at either.