Fleur-De-Lis Fever | The Saints All-Time Best Draft Picks: Offense

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IApril 23, 2009

Retired New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning, now a television commentator, on the field as the Saints  host the Indianapolis Colts at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi on August 26, 2006. The Colts won 27-14.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

While the New Orleans Saints have had more than their share of bad draft picks over the years, they have also netted some fantastic players. The Saints have drafted numerous all-pro selections and a couple of potential hall-of-famers.

Broken down by position, here are the Saints' best offensive draft picks:


Quarterback: Archie Manning

While Archie is now known more for being the father of two Super Bowl MVPs, he had a decent career for himself.

Manning was named to the Pro Bowl in 1978 and 1979 and was NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978.  He passed for nearly 24,000 yards in his career despite playing behind terrible offensive lines. 

Despite the team's lack of the success with Archie at quarterback, he is still held in high regard by many New Orleanians.


Running Back: Deuce McAllister

Another former Ole Miss Rebel makes the cut as one of the Saints all-time best draft picks.  Despite having top-five talent, concerns about injuries allowed McAllister to fall in the Saints' lap at No. 23.

Deuce was a fan favorite in New Orleans throughout his eight seasons in the NFL.  In addition to recording nearly 8,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring 54 total touchdowns, fans always appreciated the way he carried himself on and off the field.

During his rookie season, Deuce had nearly $5,000 stolen from him by teammate Albert Connell but he never made a noise about it publicly. 

Deuce carried himself just as well on the field.  He was a hard-nosed runner who often required multiple defenders to take him down. 

Even though George Rogers had similar career numbers, I chose McAllister over Rogers because McAllister had a bigger impact on the Saints than did Rogers.  Half of Rogers' career was played for the Redskins.


Wide Receiver: Danny Abramowicz

Abramowicz was selected in the 17th round of the Saints' inaugural draft.  From 1968 until 1972, he was consistently in the top 10 in the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Abramowicz was named all-pro in 1969.  During his career he caught a pass in a then NFL record 105 consecutive games. 

He held all of the Saints' major receiving records for nearly 25 years, until Eric Martin broke many of them in the late 80s and early 90s.


Tight End: Hoby Brenner

Hoby Brenner played all 13 of his NFL seasons in a black and gold uniform.  He is the only tight end drafted by the Saints who is also in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.

Brenner was a good blocker as well as a solid receiving option for Saints' quarterbacks.  During his career, Brenner had 267 receptions, nearly 4,000 yards, and 21 touchdowns.  He averaged 14.4 yards per catch.

Hoby Brenner was named to the Pro Bowl in 1987, the same season the Saints earned their first playoff berth.


Fullback: Lorenzo Neal

Throughout his 16-year career, Lorenzo Neal has been a blocking force in the NFL.  Unfortunately for the Saints, he's done most of his damage for other franchises. 

Neal was a member of the Saints from 1993-1996.  In 1997, he signed with the New York Jets.  Since his departure from the Cresent City, he has gone on to block for a 1,000 yard rusher in 11 straight seasons.

He has blocked for LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Murrell, Corey Dillon, Eddie George, and Warrick Dunn among others.

He is a four-time pro-bowler and three-time all-pro. 


Offensive Lineman: Willie Roaf

Willie Roaf is one of the most highly decorated offensive linemen in NFL history.  He was an 11-time pro-bowler, nine-time all-pro selection, and is a member of the 1990s All-Decade Team. 

Roaf was a starter for the Saints' first playoff victory in the 2000 season against the St. Louis Rams.

No one in New Orleans Saints history was a more consistently great player than Willie Roaf.  Roaf will likely become the first player to be elected to the hall of fame who played the majority of his career for the Saints, when he is eligible after the 2010 season.


Can recently drafted players like Reggie Bush and Marques Colston make this list?  Only time will tell.