Ranking the needs: Wide receivers

We’ll continue our pre-draft rankings of position-group needs with wide receivers.

Remember, the earlier the ranking, the greater the need.

New Orleans Saints: You can make a case that any receiver with Drew Brees as his quarterback instantly becomes good. But New Orleans’ receiving corps suddenly looks much thinner than it has in recent years. Beyond Marques Colston and Lance Moore, there are no proven threats. Nick Toon missed his rookie year with an injury and could become a factor, but there are no guarantees.

Carolina Panthers: Brandon LaFell has emerged as a decent No. 2 receiver and the Panthers have brought in some depth in the offseason. But there is no heir apparent to veteran Steve Smith. It might be time to find one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson are a solid starting combination. There’s good depth behind them with Kevin Ogletree, Steve Smith and Tiquan Underwood. I know some people have linked Tavon Austin to the Bucs, but I don’t see that happening.

Atlanta Falcons: With Julio Jones and Roddy White, the Falcons might have the best 1-2 combination in the league. There’s an outside chance the Falcons could use a mid- or late-round pick to try to find someone to compete with Harry Douglas at slot receiver.