The New Orleans Saints have made a lot of excellent draft picks over the years. Who have been the 15 best?
When it comes to the NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints have been able to make the most out of their draft capital. Whether it’s nailing a first-round pick or somehow getting a franchise-changing player in the later rounds, NOLA is no stranger to putting together successful drafts.
Let’s go back in time and revisit the 15 best draft picks in New Orleans Saints history. These don’t have to be first-round picks or even early-round picks, simply the best picks ever, whether that was in round 1 or round 7.
So, with that said, let’s get to it!
15. Mark Ingram
Drafted 28th overall in 2011
After the Saints selected a first-round talent who will also appear on this list, they struck again not far removed from that pick. They went with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram, in a move that surprised fans at the time.
Ingram took a few years to show why he deserved to be a first-round talent, but once he got it going, it wasn’t hard to see why the Saints took him in round one.
His first truly impressive year was in 2014 (the fourth year of his pro career) when he rushed the ball 226 times for 964 yards and nine touchdowns through 13 games.
In 2016 and 2017, Ingram rushed for over 1,000 yards. The 2017 season saw him go over the 1,100-yard mark with 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns paired with 416 receiving yards.
After a down year in 2018, however, Ingram signed with the Ravens the next offseason where he enjoyed a strong 2019 season before getting cut after the 2020 season. He played for the Texans briefly in 2021 before getting traded back to the team that drafted him.
Mark Ingram mostly makes this list because he is the all-time leading rusher for the New Orleans Saints. He passed the all-time record during his return season with the team and that makes him one of the best draft picks in franchise history.