New Orleans Saints Biggest Draft Misses under Sean Payton: No. 1, Sedrick Ellis


We’re finally wrapping up our New Orleans Saints biggest draft misses under Sean Payton series, and it’s just in time. The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and if you aren’t planning to watch this one, you should really rethink things. The Tennessee Titans figure to cash in on a host of suitors salivating over the second pick. All I can say is, ‘Getcha popcorn ready‘.

Before we dive into our number one on the most wanted list, let’s recap the list of rankings up to this point.

Without further ado, let’s talk about Sedrick Ellis, a big swing and a miss.

Sedrick Ellis, Defensive Tackle
2008 Draft, 1st Round, #7 Overall – USC

You would have to be stubborn and naive to not think that Sedrick Ellis wasn’t the Saints biggest draft bust since Jonathan Sullivan (2003), or unworthy of being dubbed the biggest draft miss under Sean Payton’s tenure. Ellis was praised as the absolute top interior lineman of the 2008 draft. If you look at the scouting profile on Ellis, it’s lengthy to say the least. He drew comparisons to a former Saint, La’Roi Glover. Ellis was simply supposed to be ‘the man’.

After missing out on Glenn Dorsey, the Saints would swap first round picks with the New England Patriots and send away their third round pick to nab Ellis. The Pats would eventually take Jerod Mayo (I think he was pretty good), and the Saints would also get the 164th pick in the fifth round, which turned into Carl Nicks.

Ellis originally held out due to contract negotiations, missing six days of training camp until a deal was reached on July 29. We’re not talking a small deal either, it was a five-year, $49 million contract with nearly $20 million in guarantees.

Sadly, Ellis never evolved into anything that resembled a first round draft choice. Sure, he had some decent seasons, and even led the Saints in sacks in 2010 with six. However, we’re talking about the No. 7 pick in the draft. You expect more from someone like this. He’d miss nine games over the first two years of his career, but would play in all sixteen in 2010.

In 2011, that’s where the massive decline entered. He became underwhelming, and couldn’t produce a sack. After playing out his contract, the two sides mutually parted ways. Ellis would find a home with the Chicago Bears on June 11, 2013, but failed to report to training camp. Sedrick Ellis promptly retired on July 25, 2013, at the age of 28.

Some players the Saints could have drafted in that Round: Where to even begin? How about looking in the top 20? LB Jerod Mayo (#10), OT Ryan Clady (#12), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (#16), Jeff Otah (#19), Aqib Talib (#20)

Ellis was arguably one of the biggest draft busts in Saints history.

Did we get our picks right? Would you have added anyone as an honorable mention? Let us know!