The best thing about Marques Colston, ahead of his elite performance on the field, is his world class attitude. The guy just keeps his mouth shut, and in the selfish receiver era of the NFL which seems pretty universal, it’s beyond refreshing. In a lot of ways his demeanor for a top NFL receiver just doesn’t add up. How can I guy that’s so good and puts up the same numbers as all the stars be so ambivalent to the media circus, the attention, the glory and the chatter? He is certainly cut out of a different fabric or cloth, and that has a lot to do with why Colston’s approach is one of my very favorite things about the entire Saints team. I’d argue that many fans don’t love him as much as they should compared to other players simply because he’s so quiet. Shockey and Sharper are two perfect examples of guys revered in their prime in New Orleans, but they were never nearly as good as Colston. They showed more emotion, but they didn’t produce more. That comes at an expense, though, and during the course of Colston’s six year career he continues to be discarded as “pretty good” at best and “middle of the road” more commonly by the overwhelming majority of NFL media/fans and players alike.
The NFL Network came out with a top 100 list of players in the league, and Marques Colston was nowhere to be found. On that list included 14 receivers. Some of them were Devin Hester, Jordy Nelson, Hakeem Nicks, DeSean Jackson, and A.J. Green… just to name a few. I’d list more but I don’t want to piss you off, you get the point.
ESPN.com came out with a list of the 25 best players in the NFC South. Colston did appear on that list, but dead last at #25. Ahead of him were Steve Smith of the Panthers, Julio Jones of the Falcons, Vincent Jackson of the Bucs, and Roddy White of the Falcons.
So here are some numbers to chew on, and as you consider these also keep in mind none of these guys I’ve listed block half as well as Colston.
Steve Smith – Has less receptions and touchdowns in the last 6 years than Colston does.
Roddy White – Has less touchdowns over the last 6 years than Colston.
Hakeem Nicks – Averages 67 catches a season in his 3 year career. Colston averages 75 in 6 years.
Jordy Nelson – Averages 42 catches a season in his career. Again, Colston averages 75.
Vincent Jackson – Has never had more than 68 catches in a season. Colston has had less than 68 once in 6 years.
DeSean Jackson – His best year as a pro was 62 catches, 1,156 yards and 9 touchdowns. Colston’s best year as a pro was 98 catches, 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns.
AJ Green and Julio Jones – Both were rookies last year with worse seasons statistically than Marques Colston’s rookie year almost across the board, and Colston also had a better statisical season than both in 2011.
And don’t even get me started on Devin Hester. But throw all the stats out, and I know which player I would want out of all the guys mentioned in this blog post. It would be Colston because of his demeanor, superior work ethic, extremely low potential for causing problems and commitment. Are some of these guys listed more flashy? Quite possibly. Are they more outspoken? You bet. Do they have more exposure? No question. Are they better? No. Meanwhile, Marques Colston is still waiting for his first Pro Bowl selection.
The NFL wants pizzazz, they want flash, and they want personality. That’s not to say Colston has no personality, mind you, he just saves it for the people he knows off camera. But all this is fine. People can continue to marginalize and understate how good he is while he continues to outperform the higher profile players. He’s got to be one of the most underrated guys ever to set foot in the league, though, when you see that he consistently outperforms all the guys “listed” ahead of him statistically, and he also gives his team a dream scenario lock room character presence and role model. Good luck trying to stop him, no one has figured out how to do that quite yet. You’re certainly not going to stop him by ignoring him.