New Orleans Saints: Is Robert Meachem the Real Deal or a Draft Bust?

Robert LewisAnalyst ISeptember 12, 2008

Robert Meachem was the only 2007 first round draft pick not to see any playing time last season. He was regarded as one of the top wide receivers in the draft, and the Saints took him late in the first round hoping he could make an immediate impact.

Things did not turn out as planned, and Meachem was inactive for all 16 games last year. His troubles started when he showed up to training camp overweight and out of shape. Meachem ended up aggravating an old knee injury that kept him off the practice field and later on required surgery.

Even after the surgery Meachem was running around with a noticeable limp and seemed to have lost a step in the speed department. His route running also suffered, as his repaired knee did not allow him to make fast cuts in his routes; at least that was the excuse given by Coach Payton on why Meachem never made it out on the field last year.

In 2008 Meachem has already received plenty of praise almost every day from people around him at training camp. In preseason action Meachem caught 10 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown, but when the Saints hosted the Buccaneers Sunday in the home opener, Meachem was listed as inactive.

What is the real story here?

The Saints have great depth at the wide receiver spot. Why though, is a first rounder that is not injured and showed great potential in preseason not at least dressing for the game?

If it were not for the injury suffered by Saints' No. 1 receiver Marques Colston that will keep him out for a minimum of four weeks Meachem would have been inactive for week two as well.

Give me your thoughts on what you think was keeping Meachem from breaking into the lineup before Colston's injury.

Also, give me your thoughts on how the absence of Colston will or will not affect the strength and explosiveness of the Saints' offense.