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New Orleans Saints Biggest Draft Misses under Sean Payton: No. 9, Antonio Pittman

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The New Orleans Saints have a chance of a lifetime to help build up their future roster when the NFL Draft kicks off on April 30th in Chicago. With nine total picks across seven rounds, there’s opportunity to have impactful talent from the very start to help fuel the 2015 season.

As we’ve witnessed over the past decades in the NFL, not every draft pick works out. In fact, the vast majority of them fail. While the Saints have had some absolute gems pass through their organization in the past nine years under Sean Payton, there have been some giant flops. We keep focus on our series, and give you one of those busts, Antonio Pittman.

Antonio Pittman, Running Back
2007 Draft, 4th Round, #107 Overall – Ohio State

Pittman figured to be a promising running back out of Ohio State entering the 2007 draft. After having a strong Junior season, Pittman would forgo his Senior year and declare for the draft. He was a player originally projected as a first or second round pick, rating fourth out of 172 running backs from Scout.com. At 5’11, 207 pounds, he had a lot going for his style of running.

Pittman is the epitome of why someone’s draft profile or scouting report doesn’t necessarily translate onto the field. Just take a look at what Denver Broncos fans had to say about him on their forums, which is hilarious to think about now:

"Pittman is not overrated. He is being projected as a 2nd-3rd round pick right now, and produced consistently at Ohio State and will be one of the fastest RB’s at the combine. I would rather draft Pittman in the 2nd or early 3rd than to trade up for Lynch, which would probably be a prerequisite to obtain Lynch. Personally, I feel Lynch is a little overrated. I mean, what did he do against USC? Not much. Pittman on the other hand tore up Michigan with two long TD runs. Yes I would rather have Lynch than Pittman if forced to choose, but I think Pittman is better value in the 2nd (where we will pick), than Lynch in the mid-first."

Despite the positive marks, Pittman had to wait until the fourth round to be selected. As fast as he entered New Orleans, he exited. Pittman would be cut by the Saints on September 1, 2007, and would be claimed by the St. Louis Rams one day after. Pittman’s exit wasn’t all bad, as it would open the door for Pierre Thomas, who joined the Saints as an undrafted rookie free agent.

Pittman would have a tremendous opportunity with the Rams, as he would start several games in place of injured starter Steven Jackson, but failed to impress. Pittman would never play for another team again after he was waived on September 5, 2009.

This sums up the excitement for Pittman’s tenure with the New Orleans Saints.

Some players the Saints could have drafted in that Round: OT Doug Free (#122), S Dashon Goldson (#126), FB Leron McClain (#137)

Stay tuned as we count down the biggest busts leading up to the NFL Draft!

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