Saints Position Grade: Wide Receiver

The Saints receiver group was very injury-plagued all season, but did what they could with what they had.
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Going into the 2020 season, it was clear that the Saints needed to get better at wide receiver. Michael Thomas was outstanding, but he couldn't do everything by himself. Emmanuel Sanders was brought in through free agency, which was a big catch for New Orleans. A lot of people thought the team could turn to the draft to nab one of the big prospects out there, but the Saints didn't. Overall, the results weren't strong like we've been accustomed to.

Saints 2020 WR Stats - Receiving

PlayerTargetsReceptionsYardsYards/RecLongTDs

Emmanuel Sanders

82

51

726

11.9

51

5

Tre'Quan Smith

50

34

448

13.2

31

4

Michael Thomas

55

40

438

11.0

24

0

Marquez Callaway

27

21

213

10.1

27

0

Deonte Harris

25

20

186

9.3

40

1

The Saints were led by Alvin Kamara in receiving department (83-756), while Jared Cook was third on the team in yards (37-504). This was the first season the team did not have a 1,000-yard receiver since the 2014 season (Kenny Stills - 931 yards). Lil'Jordan Humphrey added 3 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown, while rookie Juwan Johnson had 4 catches for 39 yards on 10 targets.

New Orleans overcame a lot regarding their receiver woes, as Thomas was lost for an extended period of time. Sanders and Smith led the charge with 14 total games played. Marquez Callaway stepped up in a big way in Week 7 without Thomas and Sanders in the mix, but also got hurt in the process. It was a sort of roulette wheel for the Saints at receiver week in and week out.

Final Grade: C+

Not having Thomas for the bulk of the season certainly hurt, and it was a common theme of the Saints having to deal with injuries. It was also troubling seeing Thomas get shutout in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Saints tried with what they had, even pulling out the likes of Austin Carr and Tommylee Lewis at times. Callaway emerged in a big way, and could be in line for even more going into the new season. There's also some promise with Deonte Harris. This just wasn't a strong season for the Saints receivers, whether you chalk it up to different quarterback play or not.