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Ranking Saints needs: No. 6 wide receiver

A position-by-position look at where the New Orleans Saints stand heading into the 2015 offseason -- ranked from 1-12 in order of the team's need for upgrades or replacements.

Current depth chart:

Marques Colston. Age 31, signed through 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $7 million. 2015 salary-cap number: $9.7 million.

Kenny Stills. Age 22, signed through 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $585,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $633,613.

Brandin Cooks. Age 21, signed through 2017. 2015 salary and bonuses: $801,066. 2015 salary-cap number: $1.9 million.

Nick Toon. Age 26, signed through 2015. 2015 salary and bonuses: $660,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $761,903.

Robert Meachem. Age 30, unrestricted free agent.

Jalen Saunders. Age 22, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $510,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $510,000.

Seantavius Jones. Age 22, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2017. 2015 salary and bonuses: $510,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $510,000.

Brandon Coleman. Age 22, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2017. 2015 salary and bonuses: $435,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $435,000.

Andy Tanner. Age 26, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2016. 2015 salary and bonuses: $510,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $510,000.

Willie Snead. Age 22, scheduled to become exclusive-rights free agent in 2017. 2015 salary and bonuses: $435,000. 2015 salary-cap number: $435,000.

Analysis:

The Saints' receiver position is hard to evaluate because they have decent depth and a lot of young guys with arrows pointing up (Cooks, Stills, Toon, Jones, Coleman and kick returner Saunders). But it's become a collection of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers with no one consistently emerging as a No. 1. And it feels like something is missing since the Saints' downfield passing game has steadily regressed over the past two years.

Maybe this group is good enough, especially if Cooks continues to develop after showing some dynamic speed and quickness during a rookie season that was cut too short by a Week 10 thumb injury. He was finally starting to hit his stride as a deep threat before the injury. And this group can also be good enough if the Saints can figure out how to consistently get that "No. 1 receiver" production out of pass-catching tight end Jimmy Graham again.

But it wouldn't be out of the question for the Saints to look for an upgrade in free agency or the draft -- especially if they decide to part ways with Colston because of his high salary. My guess is Colston will agree to a pay cut and come back, but it feels like a 50-50 proposition at this point. And even if Colston stays, he'll need to be replaced soon. Are Toon, Coleman or Jones ready to step up and fill that void?

ESPN scouting insider Matt Williamson's take:

(on whether Saints need a true No. 1 receiver): "Well, I don't think Graham's a No. 2 when right. I think he's a true No. 1 ... so I think they're OK."

(on the receiving corps): "I've heard some evaluators say that when you're building your receiving corps, you want to build it like a basketball team. Mike Lombardi always used to say that when he was in the media. You want your center, which is Jimmy Graham. You want your point guard, which is Cooks. Colston's your power forward. Stills is your 3 guy. You know, you have a wide variety there, and none of them look alike. And they always have that, different body types, skill sets. You know, they used to have Devery Henderson. And I think Stills is kind of that guy, just not as blazing fast and a much better player overall. I'm a big fan of Stills.

"I'm super-excited about Cooks. I would have loved to see a full rookie season from him. I think Toon could be the Colston, though. Or maybe the big kid from Rutgers [Coleman] who spent a lot of time on the practice squad. Maybe one of those two will be your Colston in a lesser role with fewer targets."

Previous rankings:

No. 12: Specialists

No. 11: Quarterback

No. 10: Tight end

No. 9: Running back

No. 8: Safety

No. 7: Offensive tackle