Saints: Former linebacker listed as one of the worst first-round picks

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints, like most teams, have been hit or miss with their drafts. Unfortunately, they made one appearance on PFF’s list of the worst first-round pick at every slot since 2006, but it took some time for the Saints to be mentioned.

Michael Renner nearly got through the entire first round without bringing up the Saints and one of their first-round misses, but at pick No. 31, the Saints’ time to be roasted finally arrived. This was due to their selection of Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony who was a huge disappointment.

Renner wrote:

"Anthony started as a rookie in 2015, but that was the last time he did so. He earned a 55.3 overall grade that season but was traded to Miami after two years in New Orleans."

As Renner mentioned, Anthony was a starter during his rookie campaign and started all 16 games that year. That’s about the only positive aspect of his Saints career, as he started just three games the next year and due to lackluster performance, was traded to the Dolphins following the 2016 season.

Anthony played for the Dolphins for two seasons before coming back to New Orleans in 2019. He did next to nothing during both tenures with the Saints and his lone stint with Miami, which makes him a good pick for the worst No. 31 overall pick in the last 15 years.

The Saints whiffed hard with their selection of Stephone Anthony.

It wasn’t hard to see what the Saints liked about Anthony and why they took him with the second to last pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was a tackling machine at Clemson and the Saints needed help on defense, specifically at the linebacker position.

Anthony failed to live up to any kind of hype and the fact that he didn’t suit up in a regular-season game in 2020 is a testament to how big of a bust he truly was. The only reason he’s not discussed more is because he was a late first-round pick. Had he gone in the top 20, Anthony would definitely be talked about more as being one of the biggest busts in recent years.

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At least New Orleans appeared on this list just once. There’s an argument to be made that Marcus Davenport could eventually find himself on this list if he continues to flounder. For the most part, however, the Saints have made their first-round picks count but just like every team in the NFL, they’re swing and miss every now and then.