For many years since their debut in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints suffered through many losing seasons so bad to the point fans put brown bags over their heads and called themselves the “Ain’ts.” But what New Orleans can take credit for is that they started the legacy of the quarterbacking family named Manning. In 1971 Archie Manning was the second pick of the NFL draft but unlike his two sons, he never got to taste much success as a pro because his teams were so bad. The Saints first winning season did not come until 1987 after Manning had retired and the team won 12 games but lost in the wild-card game behind the quarterbacking of Bobby Hebert. That season turned the franchise around and they have been consistently winning since.
The Saints have had some household names taken in the first round of their draft history. “Ironhead” Craig Heyward came to the team with the 24th pick overall in 1988, he being the father of the current defensive star on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cameron. In 1976 another running back was drafted that being Chuck Muncie. Willie Roaf an outstanding offensive tackle became a mainstay on the line in 1993. Then in 1999 with Mike Ditka as the head coach, the Saints shocked the world and traded their entire slew of draft picks to move up to the 5th slot in the draft just so they could draft Ricky Williams. That trade backfired big time as Ditka was fired following the season and Williams lasted just three years in New Orleans. New Orleans did not have a first-round pick in 2000 so in 2001 they selected Deuce McAllister who would have a much better career than did Ricky Williams. As for the best pick all-time, I think that goes to Chuck Muncie, although Willie Roaf was one of the best linemen of his era.
Honorable Mentions: Russell Erxleben (1979), George Rogers (1981), Jim Dombrowski (1986), Charles Grant (2002), Reggie Bush (2006), Mark Ingram (2011), Kenny Vaccaro (2013), Brandin Cooks (2014), Marshon Lattimore (2017)