May 21st, 2012
When Robert Meachem left for the San Diego Chargers via free agency, not only did he become the first wide receiver in five years to willingly leave Drew Brees’ pass-happy New Orleans offense, he also left the Saints wondering where they would find a replacement.
The Saints love to spread the ball around, so knowing who will be the No. 4 receiver on the depth chart is important in New Orleans.
Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston are the top threats with over 1,000 receiving yards each. Devery Henderson and Lance Moore are No.’s 2 and 3, respectively, after Colston, and Brees had two running backs in Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas with sure hands.
But who will replace Meachem’s 40 catches and 61 targets?
Adrian Arrington will be first to get a look. Arrington is very familiar with the system since he’s been in New Orleans since 2008 and has shown flashes of brilliance in preseason games. However, those flashes haven’t been regular enough, and they were just in preseason action.
Arrington caught just two passes last year and doesn’t have Meachem’s speed or playmaking ability.
If Arrington falters, or quite possibly just because he’s a better option, rookie Nick Toon can emerge.
Toon is son of the NFL great wide receiver Al Toon. He’s also got great route-running skills, is extremely fast and has good hands.
Before the 2012 season is through, Toon will emerge as Brees’ go-to No. 4 receiver.
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