Saints News

Looking Back At Some of Saints Best 1st Round Picks

Will Smith, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Will Smith, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS – DECEMBER 28: Deuce McAllister
NEW ORLEANS – DECEMBER 28: Deuce McAllister /

Deuce McAllister

Deuce McAllister was like nothing the Saints had seen before. Even his path for the running back to joining the Big Easy was unorthodox.  After the Saints created a running back void by trading Ricky Williams to the Miami Dolphins in 2002, it became quite clear that someone was going to need to step up, or be brought in to help the Saints. Deuce McAllister was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 23rd pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. The pick forever changed the franchise offensively.

Although I didn’t personally get an opportunity too witness the greatness that was Deuce McAllister, no Saints fan could miss the impact that Deuce had on the team.

He served his time in New Orleans from 2001 to 2008. In his 1,429 attempts running the ball Deuce ran for 6,096 yards, in only 97 games surprisingly. But the greatest thing Deuce provided was not only his ability to run the ball, but his ability to catch passes out of the back field. With the Saints Deuce had 234 receptions for 1,720 yards on top of his impressive running performance throughout his career. When it came down to it, if your team wanted versatility, athleticism, and a player who is consistently reliable, you must have wanted Deuce McAllister.

Needless to say Deuce McAllister’s stats were impressive. But his impact was much greater than the numbers he produced on the field.

There was so much more than what met the surface when it came down to Deuce McAllister in New Orleans. He was powerful but he was also determined. He knew his team was counting on him and simply wasn’t going to let them down when the game mattered most. If you looked at his highlights against any team, you’d notice how it almost felt as if Deuce could be relied on come any situation. To this day balanced powerful offences rely on a keen mixture of utilizing their quarterback and running back. During games for the Saints it came down to having to rely on Deuce. For a lack of better term, they put the offense on his shoulders. And Deuce handled it well, to say the least.

It goes without saying that running the ball provides an endless amount of packages for an offense. But it provides more than what an average fan would expect. From picking up blitzes, to helping in blocking, to even simply disguising plays. Running backs are essential tools that aren’t always given credit for in this day and age. At the end of the day, running backs will continue to help keep offenses thriving. In Deuce’s case, he helped New Orleans flourish.

People alike will agree, it certainly helped New Orleans in having a physically gifted back in Deuce McAllister. To have had a running back not only take pressure off of the quarterback but helps keep opposing defenses guessing. To have just an athletic, versatile freak of nature on your side is reassuring on so many levels.

Deuce ended his career in New Orleans as the Saints All-Time Leading Rusher, in regards to attempts, yards, and touchdowns.

To this day Deuce’s number #26 is unavailable to be worn. The number will forever belong to him. When you take a look at the legacy Deuce left burried in that number. What a phenomenal career. Although it was short lived from injuries, if you remember Deuce McAllister, you’d remember success.

We give thanks to these athletes, providing the Saints franchise with memories and history of plenty over the years.