New Orleans Saints First Round Draft History Under Sean Payton


May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the New Orleans Saints at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, the NFL Draft is just several short months away. While we’re highly likely see a plethora of mock drafts and speculation on how the New Orleans Saints will tackle their offseason, we know that the team has a top fifteen pick in their future. The Saints currently have the thirteenth overall selection (lucky to some).

Many black and gold faithful are looking for a bit of magic out of this selection. However, how has that pick looked over the years? Is one player really going to make that big of a difference for the Saints? Here’s how first round picks in the Sean Payton Era have looked:

[table id=26 /]

Only one player under Sean Payton, Cam Jordan, has been selected to the Pro Bowl. The team did not have a first round selection 2012 due to the alleged Bounty Gate scandal. Cam Jordan and Reggie Bush are the only first round picks to play in all sixteen games in their rookie season.

The Saints will enter the draft with a plethora of needs to address. The largest needs figure to be cornerback, linebacker, and offensive lineman. The team will first have to deal with getting under the league’s salary cap figure for 2015, and see what upgrades free agency can potentially bring.

It’s quite interesting that the team has not selected an offensive lineman or linebacker in the first round in quite some time. Jammal Brown was the last offensive lineman selected in the first round in 2005, and Mark Fields was the last linebacker selected in 1995. Coincidentally, both of these players were also selected thirteenth overall. Brown was selected to the Pro Bowl as a member of the Saints in 2006 and 2008.

The NFL Draft changes scenery after being hosted in New York since 1964, which was the last time the NFL Draft was held in Chicago. Radio Music City Hall was home to the draft from 2006-2014. The three-day draft is set to occur at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University from April 30 to May 2.

Given the Saints track history of first round players, do you believe this year’s selection can greatly impact the team, or does the team have too many other issues?