Abuzz with the news that Antonio Brown had a workout with the Saints yesterday morning, coverage on the remaining wide receivers the Saints auditioned was often put on hold. Six receivers in total were welcomed to Airline Drive to be seen by Coach Payton and his staff. Let’s take a look at the rest of the players New Orleans got a look at on Friday morning.
I’ll start with the most familiar to make it easier for you to skip over you would like. TLL, of course, spent time in New Orleans from 2016 to 2018 in what was mostly a disappointing tenure. Undrafted out of Northern Illinois University, he was primarily the team’s return specialist though he did catch a touchdown pass last season against the Atlanta Falcons in a game in which Drew Brees connected undrafted free agents for touchdowns.
at 5’7″ and 168 pounds, he is often referred to as a diminutive receiver but the Saints believed in him as a potential spark plug on special teams. It simply never panned out. Through his time in New Orleans, he averaged 9.3 yards per punt return and only 22 yards per kick return. He was ultimately replaced by then Special Teams coordinator Mike Westhoff on punt returns by Alvin Kamara and on kickoffs by QB Taysom Hill.
Since his time came to an end with New Orleans following the 2018 season, he was signed by the Detroit Lions but did not play a snap. His NFL career looked to be put on hold as he was signed by the Dallas Renegades, an XFL team. It seems unlikely that he will be returning to New Orleans considering the success of the Saints’ new return specialist, Pro Bowler Deonte Harris.
A standout receiver at LSU before the Tigers had a passing attack. He was a hometown favorite when brought in by the Saints in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. Dural’s rookie year never really got started as he began the season on the NFI list, eventually landing on the practice squad. Then, in playing out his Future/Reserve contract in the 2018 offseason, he was sent to Injured Reserve with broken humorous and was cut from the active roster at this year’s roster cuts.
While Dural’s career has not been able to hold footing just yet, he clearly has a good relationship with the Saints who continue to check in with him. He has also stood out in training camps and OTAs when healthy. The Saints clearly see potential in Dural and it doesn’t hurt that he is familiar with the Saints playbook from his previous stints.
Outside of Antonio Brown, Harris is the most experienced of this group in terms of NFL playing time. However, he does not have a ton to his name. Harris came into the league in 2016 and has played in 28 regular season games totaling 40 catches for 432 yards and a touchdown. He scored the touchdown in the 2017 season. Harris also spent some time this preseason with the New England Patriots.
Standing at 6’2″ and weighing in at 195 pounds he’s a guy that has to rely on his size to make an impact. While the Saints wouldn’t mind another red zone threat, it’s not as necessary as they’ve found the endzone over 81% of their red zone drives in the last three games. What they’re likely looking for is a deep threat to help stretch the defense with reliable hands in case of injury.
Similar to Dural, White was given attention as an undrafted player coming into the league. As he left Arizona State, he was given his first shot by the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. He was also sent to injured reserve his rookie season, given a a couple of Future/Reserve contracts with Baltimore as well as the New York Jets. Unfortunately, White hasn’t stuck on a roster yet.
New Orleans giving him a look is the next chapter in his journey, but we will see if anything transpires. At Arizona State, he caught a total of 113 passes for 1,346 yards and 10 total touchdowns over his Junior and Senior years. At 5’10”, 185 pounds and a low athletic profile, it is hard to imagine White being the guy in this group to get an opportunity unless he absolutely shined in his workout and meetings with staff.
Saved the best of the five for last here. Begelton is a CFL star receiver with the Calgary Stampeders. In 2019, he totaled 102 receptions for 1,444 yards and 10 touchdowns after opening his three-year career with only two in as many years. At 6’2″ 205 pounds, his size doesn’t hurt either. His top-end speed would draw some questions, but his game speed is enough to make up for his 4.6 speed out of college.
Played college ball at Lamar in his hometown of Beaumont, TX. Begelton is the most intriguing of the Saints workouts, aside from the obvious one, simply based on his Canadian Football production, and the mystery of what he might be in the NFL. He’s practice squad eligible so there is always the chance that New Orleans tries to get a look at him there during the playoffs or potentially offers him a Future/Reserve contract guaranteeing him a spot in OTAs next offseason.
On Saturday morning, the Saints made a move to elevate Lil’Jordan Humphrey to the active roster, leaving a practice squad spot available. Even more interesting, they cleared two roster spots by waiving the recently signed DB DeShawn Shead and OL Michael Ola.
We will see if any of the aforementioned names land a spot with New Orleans. Or, of course more interestingly, if the guy all five of these players stand in the shadow of does. Even if they do not land one of those spots, practice squad or active roster, remember these names. These are some of the guys the coaching staff will consider should they need someone in case of an injury.