Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens (Saints) WR Cameron Meredith: Hopeful Tidings

Matt Waldman’s RSP examines former Chicago Bear wide receiver Cameron Meredith and what the Saints hope he’ll bring to the offense.

Drew Brees and Sean Payton love attacking the middle of the field. The prioritization of receiver types since 2006 tells the story well. In fact, 2006 was Joe Horn’s final year in New Orleans, averaging a gaudy 18.4 yards per catch. This has been the last time the Saints have had a player of Horn’s all-around skills on the perimeter.

Since then, the to producers have been slot players like Michael Thomas, Lance Moore and Marques Colston and a move tight end like Jimmy Graham, who earned usage on the perimeter but did his best work up the seams from the slot or as an in-line receiver.

Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, and Ted Ginn? All speedsters with histories of iffy hands. The Saints use speed outside to help them funnel the ball inside.

The team always seems to have at least one receiver who can work inside and outside: Thomas and Graham immediate come to mind. Former Bears receiver Cameron Meredith offers a similar skill set to Thomas:

  • He’s an athlete with good length.
  • Skill to adjust and win the ball against tight quarters.
  • Story-telling prowess against zone, off-man, and tight man coverage.
  • Enough speed to earn separation against aggressive man-to-man cornerbacks.

If Meredith is healthy enough to start for the Saints this year, he’ll fit well with Brees’ tight-window prowess and give New Orleans two big-play threats in the middle of the field.

A quick aside: Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had a tenure as the Saints offensive coordinator and you can see how the vertical game from the slot position has influenced his work in Jacksonville. Keelan Cole could develop into a lead player from the slot who fits this Saints-style receiver.

Football analysts, fans, and aspiring scouts should note that Coleman’s variety of tactics to sell his stems is one of the most compelling aspects of his game. Thomas, Marvin Jones, and Michael Crabtree come to mind as players who use the release and stem as rich story-telling devices and could use the tightest of spaces to tell a story.

When you see college receivers who have a healthy variation to their stem game, they’re players with added value.

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Categories: Matt Waldman, Players, The NFL Lens, Wide ReceiverTags: , ,

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