Saints can extend nearly 50-year trend in first round of NFL Draft

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Archie Manning

Which direction should the Saints go with the 24th pick of the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday in living rooms and basements across America?

Wide receiver? Linebacker? The best available player?

Regardless, there’s a strong chance that Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis will extend a trend that pre-dates them and carries on not just longer than any other NFL franchise, but for half of the league’s history.

If the Saints do not select a quarterback Thursday night, it will mark the 49th consecutive year New Orleans has not taken a QB in the first round.

The Saints have not spent a No. 1 pick on draft day on a signal caller since January 1971, when it chose Archie Manning with the second overall pick. (It did use a No. 1 pick in the 1981 supplemental draft on Dave Wilson, but even if you technically count that pick, it is still the longest streak in the NFL.)

SInce then, the Saints have mostly made good moves at quarterback – signing Bobby Hebert out of the USFL, trading for Aaron Brooks and, of course, scooping up Drew Brees in free agency.

How crazy is the Saints’ streak? Heading into Thursday night’s opening round, 17 of the 32 NFL teams used at least one first-round pick on a quarterback in the last six years and all but four teams have gone for a signal-caller in the first round since 2003.

Here’s the chronological list of the last time teams spent a traditional first-round pick on a quarterback:

Last QB Taken, First Round
New Orleans Saints 1971 Archie Manning
Dallas Cowboys 1989 Troy Aikman
New England Patriots 1993 Drew Bledsoe
Seattle Seahawks 1993 Rick Mirer
Cincinnati Bengals 2003 Carson Palmer
Los Angeles Chargers 2004 Eli Manning
Pittsburgh Steelers 2004 Ben Roethlisberger
Green Bay Packers 2005 Aaron Rodgers
San Francisco 49ers 2005 Alex Smith
Las Vegas Raiders 2007 JaMarcus Russell
Atlanta Falcons 2008 Matt Ryan
Detroit Lions 2009 Matthew Stafford
Carolina Panthers 2011 Cam Newton
Indianapolis Colts 2012 Andrew Luck
Miami Dolphins 2012 Ryan Tannehill
Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 Blake Bortles
Minnesota Vikings 2014 Teddy Bridgewater
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2015 Jameis Winston
Tennessee Titans 2015 Marcus Mariota
Denver Broncos 2016 Paxton Lynch
Los Angeles Rams 2016 Jared Goff
Philadelphia Eagles 2016 Carson Wentz
Chicago Bears 2017 Mitchell Trubisky
Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Patrick Mahomes
Houston Texans 2017 Deshaun Watson
Baltimore Ravens 2018 Lamar Jackson
Buffalo Bills 2018 Josh Allen
Cleveland Browns 2018 Baker Mayfield
New York Jets 2018 Sam Darnold
Arizona Cardinals 2019 Kyler Murray
New York Giants 2019 Daniel Jones
Washington Redskins 2019 Dwayne Haskins

 

 

 

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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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;…

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