How Saints' WR depth shakes out after they released Nick Toon

Second-year pro Brandon Coleman appears most likely to emerge as the No. 3 receiver this season. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

METAIRIE, La. -- Nick Toon's release on Tuesday didn't come as a shock. But it's still a disappointment that the former fourth-round draft pick was never able to realize his potential with the New Orleans Saints.

Toon had his best opportunity yet to finally play a key role for the Saints this year after he finished strong in 2014 and the team parted ways with fellow receivers Kenny Stills and Robert Meachem in the offseason. Instead Toon had a quiet summer on the practice field, then he went down with an ankle injury in the second preseason game. A league source confirmed he's being released, though it's unclear if that will come with an injury designation.

Unfortunately for Toon -- but fortunately for the Saints -- they were able to move on because they have so many other worthy candidates jockeying for backup jobs. Even after releasing Toon, the Saints still don't have enough room for all of them.

The starters will be second-year breakout candidate Brandin Cooks and longtime veteran Marques Colston.

Behind them, second-year pro Brandon Coleman appears most likely to emerge as the No. 3 receiver this season -- although he hasn't cemented that role yet because he's gone quiet in all of New Orleans' preseason games.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Coleman, who went undrafted out of Rutgers in 2014, has the highest ceiling of all the backup receivers. The team will keep giving him opportunities to play a key role after he has looked so good in practices this summer. He could especially be effective in the red zone, and he's definitely worth a late-round flier in fantasy leagues because of his big upside -- especially keeper leagues.

After Coleman, veterans Josh Morgan and Joseph Morgan are jockeying for position with two other second-year undrafted receivers: Willie Snead and Seantavius Jones.

In my mind, the two Morgans are battling for just one spot. The Saints have traditionally liked to have a third or fourth receiver who is a standout blocker and can be used in their run-heavy formations as either a blocker or a play-action-pass target. That was Meachem's role for years, and Joe Morgan did the job when Meachem was gone for a season in 2012. Both Joseph Morgan and Josh Morgan are very good blockers, so it's a toss-up between the two of them for that No. 4 receiver job right now.

As for Snead and Jones, I think it's possible that one or both of them could make the roster as developmental candidates for the future. They could either be "redshirted" and kept inactive most weeks, or they could be used on special teams. Or it's possible Snead could vault into the top four immediately if the Saints want to stick with the hot hand after Snead has been so outstanding throughout the preseason.