Drew Brees: There's not a guy I trust more than Brandon Coleman

METAIRIE, La. -- Just when the buzz had started to die down around New Orleans Saints receiver Brandon Coleman, he has come into his fourth training camp and cranked up the volume.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has been a constant presence throughout the first four days of practice -- adding at least one deep ball to his daily repertoire.

He drew some huge praise from both Sean Payton and Drew Brees on Sunday. Payton singled Coleman out first when asked which players have stood out to him. And Brees paid Coleman the ultimate compliment.

"There's really not a guy who I have more trust in than Brandon Coleman, honestly," Brees said. "I've played with him now for a long time, and I feel like he's a guy that can play every position. He can play X, he can play Z, and he can play inside. So his versatility in this offense is really good, he's a very smart player and he's been a guy who's just done whatever we needed him to do over the last few years.

"Obviously, with [former Saints receiver] Brandin Cooks being a featured guy and with Michael Thomas coming on last year and with Willie [Snead] getting his touches, Brandon's just kind of had to get in where he could fit in. And yet, there have been those moments where he's come up with some big plays, some big catches, some big third-down conversions, a go route, a vertical.

"He's just a big target that I have a lot of trust in, and I think we've had enough time on task together from training camp to just time that we spend on our own together where there's just a great amount of confidence I have in him."

Now before you say, "We've heard this before," that is not exactly true.

Yes, Coleman has been one of the most hyped players in New Orleans in recent years -- starting when he was an undrafted rookie out of Rutgers drawing physical comparisons to Marques Colston and continuing when Payton touted him in the wake of the Jimmy Graham trade in 2015.

However, Coleman has actually struggled in some past training camps -- including last summer, when Payton called him out after a bad preseason game and said his camp had been "kind of pedestrian."

This summer looks a lot different. This time, Coleman has been generating the buzz based on actual on-field performance.

Obviously it's still early in camp. And it's still hard to project Coleman as anything higher than the fourth receiver on the depth chart behind Thomas, Snead and Ted Ginn Jr.

But it has been a very timely outburst for Coleman since the second-most buzzworthy player in the first week of camp has probably been veteran receiver Corey Fuller -- who likely needs to unseat Coleman to earn a roster spot.

"I feel like in each practice we've seen a couple things," Payton said of Coleman on Sunday. "Thought he had a real good slant route today, he's gotten behind the defense. I think he's had a real good camp, [though] here we are three, four days in.

"But he looks to be running well, and he's made a play or two each day. So pretty positive."

Coleman spent most of his rookie year on the Saints' practice squad while still not fully recovered from a college knee injury. He then played as the Saints' fourth receiver over the past two years with a total of 56 catches for 735 yards and five touchdowns.

Coleman has been credited with one dropped pass each season by ESPN Stats & Information. He also had an infamous brain blip last year against Seattle when he went to the ground one yard short of the first-down marker. But for the most part, he has been a steady backup option.

Being a more dominant run blocker -- a key for fourth receivers like Robert Meachem and Joe Morgan in years past -- would help cement Coleman's spot on team. But he has shown growth in that area over time and obviously has the size to do it.

So yes, it's only four days into camp. But after seeing what Coleman has been doing on the field and hearing what Payton and Brees have said about him, it's going to be hard to erase Coleman's name from any 53-man roster projections from here on out.

And who knows, maybe he could even eat into some of Ginn or Snead's targets if he's ready to take a bigger step in Year 4.