Ranking Saints’ biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

The New Orleans Saints have a habit of finding top-flight talent in the later rounds of the draft. Let’s look at some of their best finds in recent years.

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Alvin Kamara. player. Alvin Kamara. 1. 15. . Running back. 2017 Round 3, Pick 67. AK41.

Alvin Kamara is what every team hopes to get when they draft a running back with pass-catching upside in the third round. Despite some character concerns stemming from his days at Alabama, the Saints drafted Kamara out of Tennessee in the third round. This boom-or-bust running back prospect went on the become the franchise leader in touchdowns and post a record-tying six rushing touchdowns in a Christmas Day tilt against the Minnesota Vikings.

His agile, receiving-heavy play style complemented the bruiser mentality of Mark Ingram II perfectly, and "Thunder and Lightning" wrecked shop for the Saints for four years both on the ground and through the air. Kamara has never once eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards on the season, but he's never had fewer than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in a season. The 2023 season was his least productive, and he still logged 694 rushing yards, 466 receiving yards, and six total touchdowns.

Kamara has stacked up the accolades over his seven seasons and is one of the better receivers out of the backfield in today's game. In his rookie year, he was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year, made second-team All-Pro, made his first of five consecutive Pro Bowls, and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team. Amid the string of Pro Bowls from 2017-21, he also earned another second-team All-Pro nod in 2020.

In short: Kamara isn't just a home-run mid-round pick; he's one of the greatest to ever wear the Black and Gold.

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