5/ Marques Colston (free agent in 2012)
Colston and Lance Moore could swap places, but thinking they’re not part of the group of 10 of the more important players on the Saints roster doesn’t seem to be debatable.
The man from Hofstra caught 84 passes for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns. He added 66 yards on four catches in the postseason. In 17 games, he caught fewer than five passes only five times.
His 1,023 receiving yards were 15th-highest in the league this season. His 84 catches were 8th-most in the NFL. And despite sitting out the final game resting a knee that had been surgically “cleaned up,” Colston finished 19th in the NFL in third-down receptions with 20. And his 57 first downs were tied for 28th in the league.
Colston did occasionally drop a pass, but when quarterback Drew Brees needed a sure-fire completion, it seemed he always turned to this guy. Colston didn’t have a touchdown through first six games, but finished with seven over the final nine he played in.