When your top three receivers on opening day are hovering around 30, your team might need an infusion of youth this upcoming year. Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore are very productive players, but it's time to get some youngsters in there and get some experience for the future.
Since the Saints are in three-wide receiver sets most of the time, I went with the three veteran starters in those positions. The rest of the spots on the team will be a fun battle to watch this summer. Courtney Roby was left off this list because he was signed for his special teams services and doesn't contribute to this group, barring injuries.
Colston, Henderson and Moore
The only spot in this threesome that could be challenged is Henderson's spot. Henderson has made the most difficult catches seem easy, but will drop a wide-open pass. I never understood it. Maybe we should have seen this coming with his Bluegrass Miracle catch he had at LSU in '03. That inconsistency along with his age, 30, could cause him to see an increase in competition at his spot.
Colston was resigned this offseason and will continue to see plenty of targets his way in the red zone and between the 20's. I just hope signing him long-term doesn't come to bite the Saints in the behind with his injury history.
Moore also has trouble staying healthy, but when he's in the game he is Drew Brees' security blanket in the slot. He always comes up with tough catches over the middle at crucial points in the game. His presence was missed early on, but came on late with five touchdowns in his last five games.
Nick Toon, Joe Morgan, Adrian Arrington
Arrington has been given chance after chance and this offseason will probably be his last in New Orleans if he doesn't lock down the fourth spot on the depth chart behind the starters. He showed promise in the last game of 2010 with 7 catches for 79 yards, but hasn't been able to get onto the field consistently either because of injuries or poor play. He needs a big camp or the Saints could cut their losses with him.
Toon is this year's fourth round draft pick who could be one of those young guys that could unseat Henderson at that starting spot. New Orleans isn't shy to start a rookie receiver on opening day no matter what round he was picked in. Just ask Colston. Keep your eye on Toon this year.
Morgan is the other youngster who could unseat Devery. He is the breakout star from last year's preseason. He had a long punt return for a touchdown, and also had a 50+ yard touchdown reception in his next game. His season ended abruptly after being put on injured reserve with a knee injury.
In two years, the primary Saints receivers could be Toon and Morgan.
Best of the Rest:
Chris Givens—undrafted rookie free agent
Givens comes to the Saints out of Miami (OH). He runs faster than his 4.63 40 time, but is still a great possession receiver with good hands. He has been very impressive in the mini-camps so far, along with Toon and Morgan. He could be the next undrafted gem the Saints find at the receiver position.