The New Orleans Saints have a fabled history, in their franchise’s run, of some of the premier pass-catchers in the NFL. Strangely enough, despite many Pro Bowl appearances and other accolades, no primarily Saints wideout has gone to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though.
In spite of that factoid, here are the five best receivers in the history of the New Orleans Saints.
5. Danny Abramowicz (1967-73)
Danny Abramowicz lands as the first name mentioned on the lauded list of best Saints receivers. Abramowicz, originally the 420th overall pick in the 1967 NFL Draft out of Xavier, was a standout receiver with New Orleans in the early days of the merged league during the Saints’ first years as an expansion franchise.
Abramowicz, who spent six-plus seasons in a Saints uniform, was never a Pro Bowler, but he did lead the league in receptions (73) during the 1969 campaign, earning first-team All-Pro honors, an early indication of his work ethic with the upstart Saints.
The 6-foot-1 flanker was eventually traded during the 1973 season to the San Francisco 49ers, and after retirement he became a commentator for Saints radio broadcasts along with getting inducted into the franchise’s own Hall of Fame in 1988—the first of two names, along with Archie Manning.
4. Michael Thomas (2016–present)
This is someone who could easily be the No. 1 spot in a few years, but he’s not there just yet.
Michael Thomas, of course, set a new NFL record for single-season receptions during this past campaign in 2019, hauling in 149 catches along with a league-leading 1,725 receiving yards. At 27 years old, Thomas, a second-round pick out of Ohio State back in 2016, is already a three-time Pro Bowler and twice made the All-Pro First Team.
After winning the Offensive Player of the Year award in 2019, there is little doubt Thomas can continue to emerge as the top receiving option in the NFL—and eventually the Saints’ receivers. He already possesses the fourth-most receiving yards in franchise history.
3. Eric Martin (1985-93)
Eric Martin was a well-accomplished wideout for the Saints, eventually landing second all time in receiving yards and fourth in receiving touchdowns after nine seasons with New Orleans.
Martin was taken in the seventh round of the 1985 NFL Draft as a four-year standout with LSU, staying nearby his alma mater and turning in his only Pro Bowl appearance in 1988 when he recorded 85 receptions for over 1,000 yards.
After retirement, Martin was inducted into the Saints’ Hall of Fame in 1999.
2. Joe Horn (2000-06)
The two best receivers to play for the Saints have to be recent entries, however. First is Joe Horn, the four-time Pro Bowler with New Orleans after his initial foray into the NFL with the Chiefs. Horn signed as a free agent with the Saints following four uninspiring seasons with Kansas City; before that, Horn’s incredible story is known as a poor fellow struggling for cash who kept studying his craft after leaving community college.
When Horn arrived in New Orleans, he became an instant hit, earning his first Pro Bowl appearance and recording more than 1,300 receiving yards as the top pass-catching option for quarterbacks Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks.
Horn spent seven years with the Saints, becoming one of the most feared receivers in the NFL and inspiring countless number of athletes seeking a chance to prove their worth. Horn sits with the third-most receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in franchise history to this day. Horn joined the Saints’ Hall of Fame in 2010.
1. Marques Colston (2006-15)
Lastly, Marques Colston has got to be the best wideout in Saints history. Originally a seventh-round pick-up out of Hofstra in the 2006 draft, Colston exploded out of the gate and became a mainstay receiving option for star quarterback Drew Brees. Despite never earning a Pro Bowl appearance, Colston was consistently a dangerous threat as a playmaker. In his first two seasons, Colston combined for over 2,200 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
Weirdly, Colston only appeared in all 16 games four times during his 10-year professional tenure (all with the Saints). A Super Bowl champion in 2009-10, Colston was a huge contributor to that squad, the only title-winning team in franchise history. Colston owns the most receiving yards in Saints history, with 9,759—a healthy near-2,000 margin over Eric Martin—and has always caught the most touchdowns in the team’s history, too (21 more than former tight end Jimmy Graham).
Colston was inducted into the Saints’ Hall of Fame last year.