Ranking every 1,000 yard rushing season in Saints history

Ricky Williams, New Orleans Saints
Ricky Williams, New Orleans Saints / Craig Jones/GettyImages
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Reuben Mayes, New Orleans Saints / Owen C. Shaw/GettyImages

#4 Saints 1,000 yard rushing season: Reuben Mayes - 1986

While Hilliard was taken early in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft, Reuben Mayes was taken in the third-round by the Saints, and ended up winning the starting gig. Go figure.

Well, you can certainly say that Mayes took his opportunity and RAN WITH IT (ok, apologies but couldn't help it). The rookie runner ended his 1986 campaign by rushing for 1,353 yards and eight touchdowns. He also only fumbled four times, which is pretty impressive for a rookie, and even averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

Not only was Mayes selected as a Pro Bowl player, but he was also named the Offensive Rookie of the Year for his efforts. He received a whopping 88.1% of the votes that year, gaining 74 total while every other candidate got one a piece. So yeah, he was like that.

Mayes ascension coincided with the ascension of the franchise, as his rookie year was also the first year for then-head coach Jim Mora. Mora's Saints, backed by their running game, and most importantly, their Dome Patrol defense, would enjoy the franchise's first successful period. Until Sean Payton and Drew Brees came to the Big Easy, it was also the ONLY string of successful Saints seasons.