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Receivers: Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson.
It may come as a surprise to some that the Saints have only four prominent wide receivers. However when you consider that the team had three pass-catching tight ends—Jeremy Shockey, David Thomas and Jimmy Graham—and four running backs—Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Ladell Betts and Julius Jones—with at least 10 receptions, it makes a lot of sense.
This is without even considering Chris Ivory's tough running, which will turn into Mark Ingram's tough running next season, which is why the Saints have the best offense in the NFL. That however is an article for another day.
The Drew Brees policy of throwing to the open receiver and not forcing the pass to his best receivers only works because of the talent that is at the end of his throws. It is not difficult to identify that Marques Colston is the team's best receiver but it is not as glaringly obvious with the Saints as it is on most other teams.
Colston is a perfect fit for the Saints scheme. He can run the complete route tree and has an incredible mixture of size and speed. His agility is outstanding for a player that stands at 6'4". This size and athleticism makes him a legitimate jump ball receiver while also being able to run crisp routes. Colston catches the ball consistently and is a receiver without any major flaws.
Colston is the team's tallest receiver which essentially is the only difference between he and the rest of the receivers on the team. Statistics are not the best way to analyze the Saints because of their willingness to find the open receiver. Colston was the only player to go over 1,000 yards last season and has done so four of his five seasons in the NFL. His only season without reaching that milestone came when he missed nine starts.
Statistically the team's second-best receiver last year was Lance Moore. Moore is a free agent this year but expect the Saints to re-sign him after letting Jeremy Shockey go. Moore is an all-around receiving talent but specializes as a possession receiver. He has the ability to make defenders miss with the ball in his hand which can lead to big gains.
Big gains also come from Devery Henderson. Despite a down year last season Henderson still averages 18.6 yards per reception throughout his career. Henderson's 77-yard touchdown reception in the playoffs reminded the team of his ability, which was lacking throughout the regular season.
Robert Meachem is a receiver that receives little acclaim nationally however he is a third choice receiver that would be an above-average second receiver on most teams. Meachem has reliable hands and runs good routes. Much like Steve Breaston in Arizona, Meachem is just waiting for his opportunity to move up the depth chart and gain the opportunities he needs to succeed.
The consistency and depth that the Saints' receiving corp is what makes Drew Brees philosophy of not favoring any target over another possible.
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