NFL New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints Final Wide Receiver Depth Chart

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New Orleans Saints Finalize Wide Receiver Depth Chart

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 players has come and gone, and now begins the 17 week journey to make a postseason appearance and to ultimately move on to represent their conference in Super Bowl XLVIII this coming February.

There were injuries early on that helped to open up spots for some players, and veterans were brought in to compete with some expected and unexpected cuts along the way. Players who had been relegated to the practice squad in years past were also fighting against the odds to be able to get themselves onto the active roster.

The New Orleans Saints were no exception.

Veteran wide receivers Steve Breaston and Patrick Crayton were brought in to training camp to compete after receiver Joe Morgan was lost for the season with a knee injury. Morgan, who displayed some of his talent in limited appearances last season, was widely believed to be a surefire lock to get the third wide receiver spot behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore.

It was not meant to be this season, however. Morgan's injury opened the door for others to play their way onto the roster this preseason. Practice squad veteran Andy Tanner had a chance to make the final roster and showed he was hungry for the opportunity. Likewise, rookie Kenny Stills showed Saints coaches and fans his speed, ball catching skills and separation ability.

Preston Parker brought his name into the conversation by catching two touchdowns this preseason and also showing his versatility by returning kicks and punts. Fellow receiver Courtney Roby did the same and Saalim Hakim tried to secure himself a spot on the roster by showcasing his speed.

Here now is a look at the five wide receivers that the Saints have elected to keep heading into the regular season.

Jack Cavanaugh is a New Orleans Saints contributing writer for Follow him on Twitter @cav_jack, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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A Familiar Face Joins the Active Roster

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Signed by the Saints as an undrafted rookie in 2010, Andy Tanner had been trying to get onto the New Orleans roster for the past three years. This year, however, Tanner was able to beat out the likes of Preston Parker and Courtney Roby for that final wide receiver spot. Tanner caught two touchdowns this preseason, both in the game against the Houston Texans. Having had a very consistent and positive training camp and the fact that he is familiar with the Saints system should afford him the opportunity jump into the mix and start producing for New Orleans.

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A Rookie Looks To Make An Impact Early On

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The rookie out of Oklahoma was able to secure a spot on the 53 man roster by showing his speed, ball catching skills and his ability to create separation from defenders. Stills had nine receptions for 170 yards and two touchdown grabs this preseason. Perhaps his two most memorable plays came against the Texans, when he made a difficult catch along the sidelines while being defended and when he separated himself from the Texans cornerback Jonathan Joseph for a touchdown. Look for Sean Payton to use Stills' speed in opportune moments.

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Nick Toon Will Have Plenty Of Opportunities This Season

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It was widely believed following the loss of Joe Morgan for the season that Nick Toon would have no trouble finding himself a spot on the final roster. That belief panned out, and Toon was among the five receivers that the Saints decided to keep. Similarly built like Drew Brees' favorite target, Marques Colston, look for Toon to get plenty of opportunities this season as New Orleans likes to spread the wealth around.

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No Surprise Here, Really

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is a no brainer, really. Lance Moore was targeted 105 times last season and caught 65 passes for 1,041 yards — his first 1,000 yard season. Since catching that famous two-point conversion in Super Bowl XLIV, Moore's targets, receptions and receiving yards have skyrocketed and Sean Payton and Drew Brees trust in and rely on him more and more. Moore will play a big part in the receiving game this season.

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Drew Brees' Favorite Target Back To Lead Receivers

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Since joining New Orleans in 2006, Marques Colston has had six seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards and two seasons with double digit touchdowns. Colston didn't see much action this preseason as he had a lingering foot injury, but he made his debut in the preseason finale against Miami. If healthy and not bothered by any injuries, there is no reason Colston couldn't record his seventh season with 1,000 or more receiving yards.