NFL Draft: What have Saints 2019 draft slots produced historically?
What has history told us about the picks the Saints are scheduled – and the operative word there is scheduled – to make in this week’s NFL Draft?
Of course, the Saints have just six picks this week, trading away their picks in the first, third and fourth rounds over the course of the last 12 months – beginning with the 2018 draft night deal to move up and select Marcus Davenport.
We know Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton have been ones to pull the triggers on moves during the draft, so the scheduled picks may move up or down.
In the meantime, let’s look at the history of where the Saints will pick (research courtesy of the website DraftHistory.com).
Round 2, No. 62
The Saints have not made the 62nd overall pick since 1997, when they selected Iowa State running back Troy Davis. In the last five years, pick No. 62 has produced a pair of noteworthy players – quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (2014) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (2017). Last year’s No. 62 pick, tackle Brian O’Neill of the Vikings, started 11 games as a rookie, and the 2016 pick in this slot, Panthers cornerback James Bradberry, has been a starter in each of his three years in the league. Over the years, this pick has produced its share of notable wideouts – Tony Hill, Antwaan Randle El, Danny Buggs and Robert Brooks, to name four.
Round 5, No. 168
The only time the Saints made pick No. 168, it was quarterback Marc Bulger in 2000. In three of the last four years, this draft spot has at minimum produced a player who was a part-time starter as a rookie – fullback Michael Burton for the Lions in 2015, guard Spencer Drango for the Ravens in 2016 and linebacker Marquel Lee for the Raiders in 2017. Last year’s 168th overall pick, tackle Jamarco Jones of the Seahawks, was injured in the preseason.
Round 6, No. 177 (from N.Y. Jets in trade for QB Teddy Bridgewater)
Only once before has New Orleans made the 177th overall pick – running back Mike Morucci of Bloomsburg (Pa.) in 1980. Former Saints kicker Dustin Hopkins was chosen 177th overall by the Bills in 2013. While last year’s pick in this spot, Texans defensive end Duke Ejiofor, was only a part-time player last year, the 2017 pick, 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor of Louisiana Tech, has 69 receptions in his first two seasons in the league.
Round 6, No. 202
In two previous selections in this slot, the Saints have gone offensive line, and without much success – tackle Tavon Rooks of Kansas State in 2014 and guard Doug Panfil of Tulsa in 1979. The most productive pick at No. 202 in recent years is defensive tackle Anthony Zettel in 2016, who started all 16 games for the Lions in 2017 and was a rotational lineman for the Browns last year.
Round 7, No. 231 (from Cleveland Browns in trade for DT Devaroe Lawrence)
Twice previously, the Saints have picked in this slot – wide receiver Talman Gardner of Florida State (by way of McDonogh 35) in 2003 and tackle Dave Knowles of Indiana in 1977. Former Saint Jamarca Sanford was picked No. 231 overall by the Vikings in 2009. This has not been a very productive pick in recent years; over the last four drafts, the selections at No. 231 have gone on to play a combined four NFL regular-season games.
Round 7, No. 244
The Saints have made the 244th pick once before – running back Jim Brumfield of Indiana State in 1970. Short-lived Saints free-agent acquisition Kurt Coleman was picked No. 244 overall in 2010. In recent years, this has proven to be a very good slot in the draft, most notably in 2015, when the 49ers chose Florida offensive guard Trenton Brown. Now known as Trent, he moved to tackle and signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders in the offseason, becoming the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. Since Brown, each of the last three No. 244 picks have remained in the league.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…