New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston catches a pass for...

New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston catches a pass for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. (Jan. 1, 2012) Credit: MCT

Marques Colston was a longshot to make the Saints’ roster as a seventh-round pick out of Hofstra in 2006. But not only did he stick, he has since gone on to become the all-time receiving leader in franchise history.

Colston set the record in a 23-17 win over the Falcons on Sunday by coming up with his 533rd career catch, which moved him ahead of Eric Martin on the team’s all-time list.

Colston is only the seventh player to have 1,000 or more receiving yards in six of his first NFL seasons, and his 7,462 career receiving yards are the ninth-highest total in the NFL since 2006. He joins Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall as the only receivers 30 and younger to rank among the top 20 active players in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

That trio of other receivers has a combined 14 Pro Bowl appearances. Colston has never been selected to play in the NFL’s all-star game.

Colston was typically low-key about the Saints’ receiving record. “It feels pretty good,” the understated receiver said.

It helps that Colston’s quarterback is Drew Brees, one of the NFL’s most prolific passers. And while others might overlook Colston, Brees does not.

“He came in here eight years ago as a seventh-round draft pick (out of Hofstra)," Brees said, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He didn't know if he was going to make the team coming out of OTAs. After training camp, he was our No. 1 receiver and he hasn't looked back since.

"He's been the same guy every day," Brees said. "He comes in ready to work. He's a playmaker, and I have the utmost confidence in him. He knows the ball is coming to him, and he will make that play."

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