Counting Down the Top 25 Players in the NFC South: No. 14, Marques Colston

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterJuly 13, 2012

Marques Colston is incredibly difficult to cover when the physical receiver lines up in the slot.
Marques Colston is incredibly difficult to cover when the physical receiver lines up in the slot.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Welcome back to “Counting Down the Top 25 Players in the NFC South.” To see the entire list as it unfolds, scroll down to the bottom of this page. To see the rules and ranking criteria, click here.

For the third season in a row, and the fifth time in his six-year career, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards. He caught 80 passes and scored eight touchdowns in just 14 games.

The sure-handed Colston has become a favorite target for quarterback Drew Brees. Colston was ranked second by Pro Football Focus with a 2.44 drop rate. In 82 catchable passes towards Colston, he dropped just two.

Because of that connection with Brees, Colston fought hard in the offseason to make sure he stayed in New Orleans. Colston re-signed with the Saints on a five-year deal worth $40 million, with $19 million guaranteed. He'll continue running routes for one of the more high-powered offenses in the league and hauling in passes from one of the most prolific passers in the game.

At 6'4", Colston is a nightmare for small corners to defend. But when he comes inside to the slot position—something he did on 54 of his 105 targets last season—Colston creates incredible mismatches, leading to his great success.


The 2012 Bleacher Report Top 25 Players in the NFC South List

14. Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

15. Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

16. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons

17. James Anderson, LB, Carolina Panthers

18. Jahri Evans, OG, New Orleans Saints

19. Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Atlanta Falcons

20. Jon Beason, LB, Carolina Panthers

21. John Abraham, DE, Atlanta Falcons

22. Charles Johnson, DE, Carolina Panthers

23. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

24. Curtis Lofton, LB, New Orleans Saints

25. Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Top 25 List (by team)

Atlanta Falcons:  3

Carolina Panthers: 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3

New Orleans Saints: 3


Top 25 List (by position)

LB: 4

DE: 3

WR: 2

OG: 1

QB: 1

TE: 1