9. Ricky Williams (3,129)
Saints RB from 1999-2001
I’m probably not the first person to tell you that the New Orleans Saints gave up a fortune for the rights to draft Ricky Williams in the 1999 NFL Draft. We don’t need to dive into that too much, even if that is the guy’s legacy in the NFL.
Williams, despite not being worth every single ’99 draft pick, put up good numbers during his time with the organization. If he simply was the fifth overall pick and didn’t have a team give up their entire draft capital to take him, there wouldn’t be a cloud hanging over his playing career.
During his three years in New Orleans, Williams rushed for over 3,100 yards and in two of his three seasons, he hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark. He had 1,000 rushing yards exactly in 2000 and put up 1,245 yards in 2001, which was his final year in New Orleans.
Williams went on to spend the next nine years in Miami but missed two seasons due to two separate suspensions. He played for the Ravens in 2011 and that was the final run for him as an NFL running back.
Again, if the Saints hadn’t sold the farm to land Ricky Williams, there wouldn’t be this huge pause when his name is said. His numbers were fine but it was the price it took to land him that people fixate on, and to be fair, there’s a good reason for that.