Just In: Saints are reportedly on the verge of signing 5 star players, that have been a long time target in free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft

The New Orleans Saints desperately need to build their receiver group, so here are five receiving options to pursue through free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft.

A National View Of The New Orleans Saints Offseason Needs

The New Orleans Saints have run their receiving corps on a skeleton crew for the past two seasons, relying on rising young wideout Chris Olave to bear the job. The fact of the issue is that Olave, Michael Thomas’ corpse, Rashid Shaheed, and Juwan Johnson were insufficient to complete the task, and Thomas is now free agency. This means the group is even thinner.

The best teams in the NFL today frequently have two WR1-caliber pass catchers; consider the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers. The Saints need to find Olave a running partner (or two), so here are the top five options for free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft.

Free agent receivers for Saints to target

Odell Beckham Jr.

Though the Miami Dolphins are allegedly interested in Odell Beckham Jr., the Saints would be negligent if they did not pursue the Louisiana native and LSU alum in the same way that they did Jarvis Landry and Tyrann Mathieu. He would fit in wonderfully as WR2 as an experienced presence behind Olave, and the prospect of a homecoming always sweetens the bargain.

The 10-year veteran has clearly lost a step since his days with the New York Giants, and his time in Cleveland was less than impressive. Nonetheless, his postseason performance with the Los Angeles Rams was outstanding, effectively reviving his career. He played a very serviceable role in Baltimore last year, logging over 500 yards and a trio of touchdowns, and he would be another piece of the puzzle that would have ties to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.

Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd, who measures 6-foot-2 and weighs over 200 pounds, would be an ideal bridge replacement for Michael Thomas. He made his living as a slot technician in Cincinnati for years, and the Saints might try to take advantage of Boyd’s “down” year — 667 yards and two scores while serving as the third option — and sign him at a reasonable price.

Another major reason the Saints should pursue Boyd is his demeanor: he carries himself professionally. Rumors have circulated over the last two seasons about feuds between Thomas and the Saints’ coaching staff, as well as a misdemeanor charge that was just dropped. Boyd had none of that. In fact, the worst thing he was linked to seven years ago was marijuana, which is now decriminalized in the state of Louisiana. Boyd would be an excellent addition, not only for his performance on the field, but also for his consistent leadership in the locker room.

Honorable Mentions:
Hunter Renfrow – Could fill the open slot position: Last with the Las Vegas Raiders.

D.J. Chark— LSU wide receiver alum; last with the Carolina Panthers.

Brian Thomas Jr.

If the Saints decide to pass on offensive lineman and instead take a receiver in the first round with the 14th overall pick, Brian Thomas Jr. is the way to go. Keeping top-tier talent from LSU in-state has always been a challenge for the Saints, as the Tigers have been a wide receiver factory for years. The Saints would be forever cursing themselves for passing up a wideout of the same caliber as Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.

If the Saints had their pick among LSU wideouts, Malik Nabers would be the one, but his odds of sliding below the fifth overall pick are limited to none. Even if the draft begins with a slew of quarterbacks and offensive linemen, Nabers is still a lock for the top ten, thus he will not be available for New Orleans.

Make no mistake, Thomas Jr. is a monster: he stood 6-foot-3 and weighed just under 210 pounds, then ran a 4.33 40-yard dash and performed 11 bench press reps. Last season, he scored an incredible 17 touchdowns. Thomas Jr. is an incredibly high-potential talent, and the idea of combining him with Olave should make Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak salivate.

Malachi Corley

Waiting for a receiver in a deep wideout class isn’t a bad idea, and utilizing a second-round choice on Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley could pay off. The Saints may put Corley in a position where he gets carries out of the backfield, short screens, and shallow crossing routes.

The advantages here are threefold. First, the Saints can use the 14th overall pick on an offensive lineman like as Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu. Corley would also be able to make plays with the ball in his hands as a catch-and-run threat, without having to be the best route runner on the team. Finally, Corley’s presence would draw defenders closer to the line of scrimmage, freeing up speedster Shaheed on the back end. NFL.com’s Lance Zeirlein compares him to Deebo Samuel; what coach wouldn’t enjoy dealing with a chess piece like that?

Theo Johnson

If Allen and Kubiak want to add a big-bodied contested-catch threat to the offense to balance out Corley’s smaller stature, Johnson would be a solid fifth-round pick. He has imposing height, measuring 6-foot-6 and weighing nearly 260 pounds, and scored seven touchdowns last season.

According to NFL.com’s Lance Zeirlein, he’s a developing talent with room to improve his run blocking and yards after the catch. However, some NFL-level coaching may bring out the toughness in him. As a receiver, he performs effectively against physical linebackers, working through early contact and running precise routes to establish separation. Rookie tight ends generally need time to adjust, but spending a year in the room with fellow athletic tight ends Juwan Johnson and Taysom Hill would not harm his growth.

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