Saints WR Nick Toon Will Need To Battle In 2015


New Orleans Saints wide receiver Nick Toon could go down as another miss for the club depending on how 2015 shapes up.

In 2012 with the team already up against the wall with Bountygate and head coach Sean Payton suspended for a year, the Saints gambled on Toon in the fourth round of that years draft.

It looked like a sure thing at the time with the former Wisconsin Badger having a monster senior year hauling in 64 receptions for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Toon at 6’2″, 215 lbs. blazed a 4.43 40-yard dash at his Pro Day as well as a 39 inch vertical jump, a 130 inch broad jump, and bench pressing 18 reps at the Scouting Combine.

Dec 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Nick Toon (88) catches a pass in front of Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (26) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Comparisons to Saints veteran wide receiver Marques Colston were being mentioned with Toon’s name and hopes were high.

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But a nagging foot injury carried over from Wisconsin to training camp and required Toon to have surgery, forcing the Saints to place him on injured reserve for 2012.

Expecting big things from him in 2013, fans were eager to see Payton utilize the big receiver upon his return.

But Toon only played in five games that year with an embarrassing performance in Week 9 vs. the New York Jets where he dropped two passes on the two times he was targeted with one being a crucial drive extending play.

Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Nick Toon (88) is unable to catch a pass after getting past New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner (27) in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

He would finish the season with a mere 4 receptions for 68 yards and zero touchdowns.

During the 2014 training camp, expectations swelled again as the local media raved on how good Toon looked in camp and was poised for huge year.

But he would only appear in six total games with 17 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown for the season.

Instead of Marques Colston, Toon was now being compared to another player in Adrian Arrington.

Arrington was a seventh round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft for the Saints who would dazzle in camp but never could seem to get it together, spending most of his time on injured reserve or the practice squad.

Granted Toon is  a far cry from that but things aren’t looking as if the fourth round gamble is working too well.

Toon will be a free agent in 2016 so it will be imperative for him to have a breakout year.

Unfortunately the timing couldn’t be worse for him as the Saints currently have eleven other receivers that will be fighting for playing time.

Two of those, Colston and Brandin Cooks, are already set to be starters leaving Toon and nine others battling it out.

Toon’s main competition will come from Joe Morgan who is looking for some redemption after being unexpectedly released from the team last year.

Josh Morgan is also a threat with being a big bodied receiver at 6’0″ and 219 lbs. as well as being a veteran entering his eighth season.

Other young players who will be gunning for Toon’s spot as well will be Kyle Prater who at the monster size of 6’5″, 231 lbs. is slowly becoming a favorite.

Aug 30, 2014; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Kyle Prater (21) runs in front of California Golden Bears cornerback Cameron Walker (3) during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

A successful training cap will not be the only thing Toon has to accomplish, but cracking the starting lineup will be a slugfest too.

It’s not inconceivable that Toon could be cut depending on how the next few months pan out on the field.

His future with the Saints or even with another NFL team after this season will be determined with how much he is prepared to fight going into 2015.

With only a few spots up for grabs it’s not just a battle, but a war Toon will have to wage to make it onto the final roster….

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