WR Marques Colston and OL Carl Nicks were both listed in the Top 55 of NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011." Colston came in at No. 53 and Nicks appeared at No. 55.
As a team, the Saints have a total of five players ranked in the Top 100.
Colston was presented by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach and current ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden on the show. LB Jonathan Vilma presented Nicks.
Last season, Colston started 11 of the 15 games he appeared in and led the Saints in catches and yardage with 84 receptions for 1,023 yards (12.2 avg.) with seven touchdowns. He finished ranked sixth in the NFC and tenth in the NFL in receptions and ninth in conference and 15th in the league in yardage.
Nicks started at LG in all 16 games last season on his to his first Pro Bowl selection. He was part of an offensive attack that finished ranked third in the NFC and sixth in the NFL, averaging 372.5 yards per game. He is part of a line in which all five players have started 22 consecutive regular season games together (dating back to 2009) and four postseason games, the longest current streak in the NFL.
Quotes from LB Jonathan Vilma on OL Carl Nicks:
"Carl Nicks off the field is the biggest teddy bear you will ever meet. On the field, he is one of the best linemen (in the NFL) in my opinion right now."
"I don't think he is known that well across the league yet because he is young but when you watch him play he gets after it."
"He has great feet and great size. He actually wants to maul you and take you down."
"He just got voted to the Pro Bowl for his first time. When you have guys like that that are young and get voted in that means they are doing something really good. Not just good, but it's top-notch."
Quotes from ESPN Analyst Jon Gruden on WR Marques Colston:
"I wish I had the brains to draft Marques Colston. That's the best way I can sum it up. I had seven rounds to make a move - didn't get it done."
"I saw Marques Colston at the (NFL) Combine. A big guy walking around from Hofstra College. I thought 'who is this guy?' That is the first time I saw Marques Colston. Then unfortunately, the first time I saw him in the NFL he was playing for the Saints."
"He is just a heck of a receiver. He is big and he plays big. He is good after the catch. He is as tough as a $2 steak."
"He is a banger. He is a collision player. He is hard guy for most cornerbacks to tackle and matchup against."
"He is a very quiet, hardworking, lunch pail kind of guy. I think he is very well respected and feared by a lot of coaches that I know in the league."