WR battle the hardest to project on Saints' offensive depth chart

METAIRIE, La. -- As usual, Drew Brees has been spreading the ball around plenty during the New Orleans Saints' organized team activities.

So much that it’s been almost impossible to sort out the crowded competition for the backup receiver jobs behind Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks.

The Saints have done more rotating at that position than any other during the first two practices that were open to the media. Even in that small sample size, Brees has completed at least one pass in team drills to Nick Toon, Seantavius Jones, Brandon Coleman, Josh Morgan and Joe Morgan, among others.

Toon appears to be slightly ahead of the others in the hierarchy for now because he seems to line up first with the starting unit during most drills. But there has been no discernible order yet between the others, depending on the drill.

I’ve written a lot about how second-year pros Jones and Coleman have continued to enhance their growing reputations by making some of the best catches so far. In Week 1, Jones seemed to be working ahead of Coleman. In Week 2, it seemed to be the opposite.

I have a feeling we will be talking about the battle for those third, fourth and fifth receiver jobs well into the preseason.

Special teams will also be key for receivers hoping to crack the roster. Jalen Saunders will try to cement the role he took over last season as New Orleans’ top kickoff returner, and he has also been part of a group of five players returning punts. But he’ll have to fend off seventh-round draft pick Marcus Murphy, a running back who was chosen specifically because of his return skills.

Josh Morgan has also been part of that punt-return group, along with Cooks, C.J. Spiller, Murphy and Saunders.

Below is a rough estimate of the Saints’ offensive and special teams depth charts, based on what we’ve seen so far in practice. We also took a look at the defensive depth chart.


QB -- Brees, Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin, Garrett Grayson

RB -- Mark Ingram, Spiller, Khiry Robinson, Tim Hightower, Edwin Baker, Murphy

FB -- Erik Lorig, Austin Johnson, Toben Opurum

WR -- Colston, Coleman, Josh Morgan, Joe Morgan, Kyle Prater, Lance Lewis

WR -- Cooks, Toon, Jones, Saunders, R.J. Harris, Willie Snead

TE -- Benjamin Watson, Josh Hill, Orson Charles, Harold Spears, Jack Tabb

LT -- Terron Armstead, Bryce Harris, Sean Hickey

LG -- Tim Lelito, Senio Kelemete, Hickey, Mike Golic Jr.

C -- Max Unger, Mike Brewster, Kelemete, Golic

RG -- Jahri Evans, Mike McGlynn, Cyril Lemon

RT -- Zach Strief, Andrus Peat, Nick Becton, Antonio Johnson


P -- Thomas Morstead

K -- Dustin Hopkins, Zach Hocker

LS -- Justin Drescher

H -- McCown

PR -- Cooks, Spiller

KR -- Saunders, Murphy