MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 07: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints watches the game against the Indianapolis Colts from the sidelines during Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The Saints' offense under Sean Payton has always had the need for speedy receivers to run properly. That weapon is largely used as a decoy to open up underneath options by stretching the field, but it's also used to exploit unsuspecting defenses when the time is right. Joe Morgan is entering year three as a receiver for the Saints, but this is the first year he comes in being the unquestioned top deep threat on the team. Two years ago he was an undrafted rookie that was a long shot to make the team before exploding in preseason but ending up on IR, and last year he survived an up and down preseason and spotty play early to make a small impact on the field. He did score three touchdowns and averaged a whooping 37.9 yards per reception last season, but with only 10 catches I think everyone expects his role to expand. When you compare his career path to Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem, year three should be the big jump professionally.
Joe Morgan came to the Saints from Walsh as a virtual nobody that was undrafted. That's quite different from the high draft status and big SEC school representation that brought Henderson (2nd round, LSU) and Meachem (1st round, Tennessee) to the Saints. But as he is progressing I see a lot of similarities, talent wise, between the three.
Devery Henderson spent his rookie season on the bench, only playing in one game and catching no passes after a contract dispute landed him on the bottom of the depth chart. In year two he had 22 receptions, but numerous drops and an overall poor year. In year three he had 745 receiving yards, a huge 23.3 yard per catch average, and 5 touchdowns to establish himself as a legitimate deep threat.
Robert Meachem, like Henderson, was basically redshirted in year one and did not play. In year two he had a quiet 12 reception season. In year three, like Henderson, he exploded for 722 yards and 9 touchdowns, establishing himself as a valuable playmaker in an extremely potent offense.
And now we have Joe Morgan, who spent his rookie year on IR and had just 10 receptions in year two. I'm expecting a 700 yard + season with numerous big plays if the pattern repeats himself. We saw glimpses of elite playmaking talent last year that suggests he is more than capable.
Do you see Joe Morgan making that leap to playmaker status in year three more consistently, mirroring the growth of Henderson and Meachem?