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Saints All-Time Lists

Top 15 draft picks in New Orleans Saints history

New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson – Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Rickey Jackson

Drafted 51st overall in 1981

Remember how I said that Cameron Jordan was second all-time in sacks for the Saints? The guy he is chasing for the all-time franchise record is Rickey Jackson, who was a second-round pick for New Orleans in 1981.

Jackson, who played collegiately at Pittsburgh, instantly became a game-changer in the Saints’ defense. He had eight sacks as a rookie in 1981 and then two years later, totaled 12 sacks. That 1983 season was the first Pro Bowl nod of Jackson’s young career (he’d go on to earn six Pro Bowl nods in total).

Jackson spent 13 of his 15 NFL seasons in the Big Easy and had six seasons where he tallied double-digit sacks. When his Saints career came to a close, he led the franchise with 123 sacks to his name. That’s the mark for Jordan to beat.

Jackson spent the final two years of his pro career with the 49ers before calling it quits after the 1995 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and definitely is one of the best draft picks for New Orleans.